I could (and did, before I changed my mind) talk quite a bit about how Johnny Depp used to be an icon, especially to the goth kids and the outsiders. But, I won’t, because Johnny Depp can drown in a sack of shit.
I could talk about how angry and disappointed I was when he turned out to be an emotionally and physically abusive shit heel who attacked his young wife more than once, who left bruises on her body, who left her afraid for her life and her safety. And, I probably will, because fuck Johnny Depp.
I won’t praise what he used to be, because it doesn’t respect Amber Heard, his brave and thankfully, EX-wife, who put herself on the line by standing up to him and to all who would shout her down. She took on a Hollywood icon. She fearlessly stood up to a machine designed to silence women like her. She provided videos of his rages, photographs of her bruises and when we all put the pieces together, it’s chilling how much of the stranger moments during their time together suddenly made horrifying sense.
Remember that weird, stilted apology for bringing a dog to Australia, how she handled the brunt of the apology and when you look back at it now, how she seemed terrified??
Hell, the man cut off the tip of his own finger and used the blood to write a threatening note to his wife (potentially graphic images).
I still see her called crazy, a gold digger, even after the courts found in her favour, after she donated every shining silver dollar of his money to domestic abuse charities and organisations. It makes me sick to my stomach how she and other survivors are treated, still does.
I cannot imagine how it feels for other survivors like her to see her dragged down. I can not imagine the complexity of emotion felt by an abuse survivor who seems a prominent figure come forwards, say ‘Me too’, and bravely out their abuser as just that, only for the internet to say … ’No. We don’t believe you and your hard evidence.’
This to a woman who appeared in court to file for divorce and restraining orders still carrying the bruises he left on her.
That side of the internet is the worst of us.
Fuck those people and fuck Johnny Depp, because Amber Heard won.
She escaped him and she struck a powerful blow against him and those like him. I hope women feel empowered by what she did. I hope the money she donated saves lives. It will. It will save lives. Abuse shelters are a vital thing and she made it so many of them can continue to operate and save men and women and children in dire need of safety.
Which bring me to my point; Maybe … kind of sort of … fuck JK Rowling, too?
I’m hoping she’s been misquoted, or the context in which she made her comments is not what it appears, but it’s very hard to squint and turn my head and try and come at all the angles on this one, and come away with anything other than grossness. But, here’s what’s happened:
Depending how you chose to view it, JK is either currently developing and expanding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by writing five new prequel films that will detail the history of world wide magic use for a new audience of fans.
Or, JK Rowling is cynically milking every last tuppence and eightpence from the Harry Potter franchise by writing 5 prequel films to the Potter series and she doesn’t care who she offends to do it.
The reason I am so bitter about this is because Confirmed Women Abuser Who Is Less Than A Year Removed From Beating The Hell Out Of His Wife, Johnny ‘eat dicks’ Depp was recently cast in the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Series as…someone. Does it matter who? The character is an old frenemy of Dumbledore and may or may not be one of his former lovers.
I cannot stress enough how little I care who he is to play. It doesn’t matter. This is just fucked up.
JK, and I quote…is ‘delighted’ by this casting choice. Delighted by what Johnny has done with the character and his performance. JK, who is prominent and active on social media, has gone radio silent in response to requests from fans who want to know she can be okay with this abuser being allowed to be in your movies literally less than one year since he last abused his ex-wife?
Equally comfortable with the casting is director Davids Yates, who has no problem describing their ‘selfish’ decision to cast someone they thought would do something interesting with the character. It’s even weirder and more disturbing that his character is a villain.
To quote Yates;
“The whole principal of casting the movie was go with the best actor. Go for the most inspired, interesting, right fit for that character. And as we approached Grindelwald we thought, “Who’s going to take this in an interesting direction?” In this business, it’s a weird old business. You’re brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down. But no one takes away your pure talent.
Johnny Depp is a real artist. He’s created several characters who have really resonated in our popular culture. He’s a really brilliant, brilliant actor. We were excited about seeing what he would do with this guy, the character. He’s fearless; he’s imaginative; he’s ambitious. We thought he would do something fun and special. So we went for him, purely on that selfish basis. We don’t care if he’s famous or not famous. We just know he’s interesting.”
Let’s break this down, shall we;
‘we don’t care if he’s famous, or not famous. We just know he’s interesting’.
You absolutely do care if he’s famous, because you cast Johnny Depp, who is more than a decade past his acting prime and hadn’t turned in anything like an interesting performance since Sleepy Hollow in 1999. You have clearly valued the pull and weight of the name over his actual acting prowess or ability to do anything interesting. What’s he going to do, wear a zany wig and mutter his lines in a half-baked cockney?
Also, I’m just going to go ahead and assume that ‘We don’t care if he’s famous’ is just a wordier way of saying you don’t care what he did six months ago to a terrified young woman.
But, lets look deeper; according to Yates, Johnny Depp is ‘fearless’. That’s why he beat up his 100 lb. wife.
He’s ‘imaginative’. That’s why he saw his own severed finger tip as a paint brush with which to accuse his wife of cheating on him.
He’s ‘ambitious’. That’s why he … I got nothing.
One more little examination, shall we?
‘In this business, it’s a weird old business. You’re brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down’.
Saying odd things.
Saying odd things.
Saying odd things.
This is a pinned quote from JK’s twitter feed right now;
‘We stand together. We stick up for the vulnerable. We challenge bigots. We don’t let hate speech become normalised. We hold the line’
JK, please, I ask you, read those first two sentences. Read them over and over again and respond to your fans who have legitimate and valid questions about the casting decision that was made and about what appears to be your response to it. Because I want to believe I’m jumping the gun and perhaps you were misquoted or haven’t been asked as directly as suggested but it’s hard to see how that’s the case.
Please, JK…we need our champions now more than ever.