Over the last couple of years, Johnny Depp’s name has been in the media for less than favorable reasons. His ex-wife Amber Heard filed for divorce from the actor in 2016 alleging Depp had been abusive throughout their relationship and they have been in and out of court settling the matters for years, suing and countersuing each other. Despite the accusations and bad press, this year the San Sebastian Film Festival awarded its highest honor, the Donostia Award, to Depp. At the press conference on Wednesday, September 22nd preceding his Donostia Awards reception, a reporter went off the script to get his opinion on cancel culture and the actor did not hold back, calling it “so far out of hand now.” “I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. Not one of you… as long as someone is willing to say one sentence” the actor said. Read the details below.
The concept of cancel culture was widespread on Black Twitter in 2015 and solidified itself into the collective consciousness around 2017 representing the idea of “canceling” a celebrity or public figure after they’ve done something perceived as too problematic. Once a group decides to cancel a celebrity, they go to any lengths to make it happen, whether it’s contacting sponsors, writing petitions, or bullying the person off the internet completely. Per Variety, Depp went on to call it a “complex situation” as it “can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture or this instant rush to judgment based on essentially what amounts to polluted air that is… exhaled.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor noted his beliefs that “The various movements that came out with, I’m sure the best of intentions…” but “It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe.” “Not one of you. Not one of you… as long as someone is willing to say one sentence. It takes just one sentence and there is no more ground. The carpet has been pulled.”
Depp is a part of a long list of micro and macro celebrities that have been “canceled.” Chrissy Teigen was temporarily canceled after Courtney Stodden revealed she bullied her online and although she is back in the public light her career is still not the same. “It’s not just me this has happened to,” Depp said at the press conference. “It’s happened to a lot of people. This type of thing has happened to women, men, and children who have suffered from various types of unpleasantries and they sadly, at a certain point, begin to think that it’s normal.”
Depp is currently suing Heard after she wrote a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic abuse. On August 17th of this year the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled his lawsuit could proceed. “I believe that if you are armed with the truth, then that’s all you need,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter if a judgment…has taken some artistic license,” Depp finished his answer with a message, “When there is an injustice, whether it’s against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in, stand up, don’t sit down. Don’t sit down on ‘em, they need you.”