When looking at the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp domestic abuse case, there is a lot of hearsay present, which adds confusion and only makes it harder for people to acknowledge who the real abuser is due to a lack of confirmation of evidence. However, there is no lack of confirmation of the recording, where Heard admits to hitting her ex-husband and even laughing at him when he refuses to hit her back. There is no lack of confirmation of the fact that Amber Heard became an advocate against domestic abuse and used the Me-Too movement as leverage for more people to take her side on the accusations she was making against Johnny Depp.
Recently, Johnny Depp lost a legal battle against The Sun, a tabloid newspaper that was founded in the UK when the tabloid published an article labelling Depp as a “wife beater.” The actor continues to claim that these allegations are false, and he even had one of his bodyguards testify on his behalf, claiming that Heard was physically and verbally abusive. Not only that, but former lovers Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis made public statements defending Depp.
It’s safe to say that losing this battle cost Johnny Depp his career, since he was asked to leave the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise and resign completely from Warner Bros. This unfair verdict has caused a lot of backlash, and it even resulted in a petition with more than 1.5 million signatures to get Amber Heard removed from the cast of the upcoming movie Aquaman 2. Many people are standing in solidarity with Johnny Depp, however, with this overwhelming support, comes many who have the wrong motivations.
Many are seeing the strong and factual evidence against Heard and using it as an excuse to claim that women lie about abuse and sexual assault, even going as far as discrediting the legitimacy of the Me-Too movement, as Heard used it as a way to get people to believe her lie. Amber Heard lied not only about the abuse, but about being the abuser herself, and this allows for a situation where many women will not be taken seriously on issues that are already surrounded by a stigma. Statistics show that fifteen percent of women in the US experience domestic abuse, and it is not a situation to taken lightly.
Additionally, many people are supporting Johnny Depp just because they want to see him in films again, totally disregarding the trauma and abuse he’s suffered. This is due to the societal notion that men must always be strong and that the idea of a man being vulnerable, as well as a victim, is hard to accept; this was a contributing factor to him not only losing the case, but also a way for Heard to gain sympathy and followers. Male victims of abuse exist, they are real, and they need support. This shame that society adds onto men who are abused only causes them to hurt even more. Toxic cancel culture does nothing to help either, and it has people jumping onto the bandwagon without knowing the facts.
We currently live in a world where the consequences of false accusations being placed against you are greater than the consequences of real accusations. Johnny Depp is not the first to suffer from this, and he definitely will not be the last. It leaves the rest of us feeling confused because many want to support the victim, but cannot know who it really is. It’s important to support those who have suffered abuse; however, this shouldn’t be a case of picking sides. Modern day cancel culture has destroyed the reputation of many good people over accusations that were false, and these liars leave the situation unscathed. It’s important to look at the facts present before openly commenting on situations such as these and to remember that, once evidence is confirmed, victims are in need of support, regardless of their gender.
“Modern day cancel culture has destroyed the reputation of many good people over accusations that were false, and these liars leave the situation unscathed.”
By Isabella Del Grosso