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Is Katherine Waterston Absent From the Fantastic Beasts Poster & Trailer for Being Pro-Trans?

Is Katherine Waterston Absent From the Fantastic Beasts Poster & Trailer for Being Pro-Trans?

Tina Goldstein in 'Fantastic Beasts'
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Fans suspect her absence has something to do with the actor's unequivocal condemnation of author J.K. Rowling's transphobia.

Despite being a lead character in the previous two films, Katherine Waterston, who plays American auror and Newt Scamander's love interest Tina Goldstein, appears to have been erased -- as if by dark magic -- from the poster and trailer for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Waterston is also the most outspoken cast member in her condemnation of author J.K. Rowling's transphobic comments. Coincidence? Fans seem dubious.

In the wake of Rowling's numerous anti-trans comments on Twitter, many of the Harry Potter stars immediately came out strongly against the author's grossly discriminatory beliefs. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) released a statement through the Trevor Project in support of the trans community stating, "Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I."

Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) joined him, tweeting, "Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren't who they say they are." And Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) told The Times, "I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment."

The cast of the Fantastic Beasts franchise was less unequivocal about their stance on the controversial author's statements against trans women. Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander, first said the backlash against Rowling was "absolutely disgusting," although he disagreed with her stance. Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob Kowalski, tweeted that while he encourages everyone to "embrace openness, inclusion, and love," he went on to thank Rowling for creating the role of a lifetime for him. The one exception to this 'having it both ways' was Waterston, who didn't hold back on her feelings about being associated with Rowling's beliefs.

The actor first shared a Guardian article to her Instagram with the headline "Trans women pose no threat to cis women, but we pose a threat to them if we make them outcasts," circling relevant quotes through the piece, including "...sorry, you can't be a feminist if you're not for everyone's human rights, notably other women's rights."

Later in an interview with The Independent, Waterston elaborated on her decision to share the piece on her social media. "Because I was associated with Fantastic Beasts, it felt important to communicate my position," she said, adding, "One wondered if they might be grouped in with other people's views by association."

It was a refreshing rebuke of Rowling's relentless TERF -- an acronym for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist" -- narrative. Fans online believe there have been repercussions for Waterston being so outspoken against it, specifically her total erasure from the upcoming film's marketing.

As BuzzFeed points out, Tina Goldstein, previously central on the posters, is missing from the film's latest promotional image. She's also notably absent from the trailer, which hasn't gone unnoticed by fans.

While some fans speculate the character's absence is to intentionally hide plot spoilers or a result of Waterston's own choice to step away from the franchise, audiences will have to wait until the film's premiere April 15 to find out just how much (or little) she will appear in the film.

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