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Viewpoint: Hollywood turned its back on Johnny Depp

Viewpoint: Hollywood turned its back on Johnny Depp - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Actor Johnny Depp in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Jim Watson/Pool photo via AP)

Actor Johnny Depp has won a legal battle against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, over allegations of abuse. His victory granted him $15 million in damages. However, at this point, all that money cannot take away damages done.

Depp has been paying for the consequences of actions brought upon him by his ex-wife during their divorce in 2016, in which she alleges that he physically abused her. These allegations have completely shifted Depp’s life personally and professionally. 

In 2018, heard published an op-ed in the The Washington Post detailing her experience with sexual violence throughout her life and alluded to “powerful men” not being held accountable for using their position to abuse women, which led people to believe she was talking about her ex-husband, Depp.

Imagine having the legacy of decades’ worth of a career taken away instantly because of allegations that haven’t been proven through the court of law. You lose everything you had in the palm of your hands in a world where you are “innocent until proven guilty.” 

Depp being treated unfairly by Hollywood is not surprising because everyone is easily replaceable. Celebrities’ feelings and personal lives can be overlooked, and actors can be seen as only workers in the well-oiled machine that is the movie industry.

One of the movie franchises that publicly gave its back on Depp was “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Disney was set to produce the sixth movie but then shut it down because of the allegations against Depp. The partnership that they built together garnered billions of dollars over the course of 14 years.

These Disney executives made a fortune off of Depp being the lead role, but these same people kicked him out the door before getting to the truth of the matter. The people Depp confided in to have his back turned on him because they don’t want their pockets harmed. 

The relationship that was built on trust was gone. 

It’s shameful that one can be accused of a crime without the need for solid proof to back it up. The way words destroyed all the success Depp achieved isn’t fair because none of the accusations made it to court until this year, which serves no purpose as the damages cannot be reversed. 

From being a worldwide phenomenon to being an outcast, Depp’s career as an actor seemed to have fizzled out as he is seen in fewer movies, which is a shame because he is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. 

These allegations have also affected his kids. Being the child of one of the most famous actors has its perks, but in this case, the scrutiny follows them everywhere.

One could only imagine growing up and having to hear from everyone around them that your dad is an alleged abuser. To call it unfair is an understatement because, as a child, one shouldn’t be forced to live questioning whether their father is abusive before a verdict has been announced. 

This case has been televised for weeks and social media has gone into a frenzy with memes about the testimonies. Despite how one may feel about Depp, seeing his career on a downward trend has been the saddest thing to see happen to an actor who has dedicated their life to acting. 

Depp’s testimony has shown that men aren’t excluded from abuse, but this case shouldn’t discredit the word of a woman; there has been a history of women being taken advantage of without any consequences to the abusers. 

Seeing that this case has gotten a lot of publicity, it’s important to understand that Heard’s testimony, whether truthful or not, sets a precedent for the treatment those who speak up about abuse get. In this case, the court ruled she lost and was not a victim. However, even if she had won, she would have remained guilty in the eyes of the public. That is problematic.

We can lay responsibility on the online response from the public, but we also can blame her attorney for failing to create strong evidence, as well as Heard’s inconsistency with her testimony that shifted the public’s opinion in favor of Depp.

For instance, Heard claimed that she donated a total of $7 million to the American Civil Liberties Union and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, but both charities came out with statements saying that they had never gotten the money. 

Heard’s team explained that she could never have donated the money because she was being sued by Depp, but it is shown that she had struggled between the divorce and getting sued to donate the money. 

Also, Heard’s graphic account of the injuries didn’t align with the photos presented in court, and the release of audio recording of Heard and Depp arguing, where she explains how no one would believe Depp’s accounts because he is a man, drew concern to the credibility of her testimony.

There really are no winners in this case. The money Depp won won’t repair the damages to his reputation, while Heard will now deal with the experiences Depp had dealt with over the last eight years.  

About the Author

Raul Trey Lopez
Sports Editor
Raul Trey Lopez is a communication junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He is a first-generation college student. In his spare time, he likes to write in his journals and listen to music. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in sports or music journalism while also maintaining his family flooring business.

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