Is ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ a reflection of LGBT rights?

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A columnist for a US tabloid has claimed JK Rowling’s new Harry Potter spin-off is, in fact, a metaphor for LGBT rights.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is released today (Friday, November 18) and takes fans of the magical universe across the Atlantic to explore the wizarding world of the United States.

Writing for the New York Post, Kyle Smith claimed the film is a “gay liberation epic” and might be the “gayest superhero movie since X-Men: First Class”.

Comparing the wizarding world of New York City to the LGBT community, he said the film “explores a clandestine world of stylish, secretive creatures who live undetected among an oblivious, mistrustful majority in New York City, and have their own cool underground bars.”

Set in 1926, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ sees British wizard Newt Scamander make a brief stop over in New York, having trekked across the globe to document and catch some of the rarest magical creatures.

However, havoc ensues when Newt (played by Eddie Redmayne) loses his bag, containing some of these beasts.

In his column, Kyle argued the main theme of the film is the parallels that can be drawn between the hidden magical world of the United States and the struggles faced by the LGBT and black communities.

“They’re effectively in the closet, made to repress their true natures for fear of unleashing hysteria and hate on the part of the majority, who are trying to out the witches and destroy them,” he added.

He also links people who have attacked LGBT people and those who forced the magical world into hiding.

He said: “All of this leads up to an explosive finish that suggests bottled-up sexual repression — for which, ultimately, the blame must fall on those who unfairly forced the witches underground in the first place — could literally destroy New York City.”

Having revealed Dumbledore was gay 2007, last week, JK Rowling refused to rule out whether future films in the franchise will explore the relationship between him and Grindelwald.

Watch the trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them below