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just.a.willow.tree

The Issue of... Johnny Depp

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just.a.willow.tree

It felt so good to laugh about this :P 

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toomanycurls

I have pretty complicated and not fully formed thoughts not just on the Johnny Depp issue but on the overall issue of coping with this wave of sexual harassment in the entertainment history/abusers having prominent roles in media. 

It's pretty upsetting that JK and the film execs for FB2 aren't taking this as an opportunity to side with victims. I did see that Amber Heard posted something along the lines of a retraction about the spousal abuse from Depp but it seemed kind of coerced. I'd like to think that people can come back from a history of abuse, change their behavior, seek forgiveness, and come back into acceptance in the media/society. I don't think Depp is there though but in general but I'm not sure I'm at a point where I'm willing to forgo film that looks generally exciting because of his presence. My unwillingness to abstain from a movie because an actor in it is an abuser is part of the issue though. I'm rewarding them with my money, time, etc. and supporting an entertainment industry that looks the other way when it comes to abuse and predatory behavior. I guess what I'm saying is that I can't rail too hard against JK and the movie execs if I'm still planning to go to the movie. I'm also feeding into the cycle. 

Regarding whether Depp is a good fit for the role -- He's about 10 years older than the character he's playing, which isn't huge in Hollywood. My main issue is how he looks in the movie (so, maybe my issue is with the makeup department). He's 20 years older than he was when Ariana Dumbledore died so the white hair seems very premature. They used a lot of famous actors in the HP movies but not so many who are as infamously typecast and with as much negative press. 

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sunshinedaisieswindmills

I think the most upsetting thing is that they did consider recasting, but decided against it. They looked at all the evidence and thought "maybe we shouldn't have a man with extremely public abuse allegations in a children's movie?" and then decided to go ahead and do it anyway. That feels like a slap in the face, honestly. 

And like, we couldn't have had Max Riemelt or Alexander Skarsgard? They're both age and accent appropriate! (ish)

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Elena

I believe the main issue is it is all "alleged". 
 

Quote

Heard filed legal documents on Tuesday to the superior court of Los Angeles withdrawing her request for a domestic violence restraining order in a deal which included a reported $7m divorce settlement.

Both actors issued a joint statement drawing a line under a saga which has appalled, titillated and divided the film industry and fans.

“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,” said the statement. “There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/16/amber-heard-assault-allegations-johnny-depp-divorce

2

Allegations are just that - allegations. If he was charged and convicted - different story. If he admitted to it - different story - but they are only "allegations". Now only Amber and Johnny know the truth and it's up to them how it unfolds. 

But I think with J.K. Rowling, it's all about contracts. Can they re-cast based on allegations? Is she going to put crap on someone based on allegations and not proven truth?

Society can certainly have their opinion, but it doesn't make it right or wrong - just an opinion. A man's reputation and career hang in the balance and he has to weather this storm. If he is truly guilty, it will unfold, but if he isn't - should an innocent man have to pay with his career? Not to mention the legal battles firms and companies face if they do dump Depp based on allegations. I don't believe anyone wants to glorify abusers in any way - but legally, it's all different. If he has not been charged and convicted or admitted to anything or proof has not been verified as truth - they are still allegations.

However, if the allegations are revealed or investigated and are shown as truth - I think they have better grounds for breaking contract/re-casting.

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Lost Muse

When I first found out about Johnny Depp's role as Grindelwald being continued in the franchise, despite the abuse issue, I was deeply upset. It is sad that JKR and the filmmakers did not re-cast when they easily could have (as demonstrated by that hilarious Buzzfeed article too). What is sadder is that I lost a little respect for JKR. Even if she chose to stick with the decision for her reasons, then the least she could have done was share those reasons with the franchise fans. Her statement was pretty vague and it upset me. 

However, with time, unfortunately, I suppose I have just resigned myself that this is happening and sort of made my peace with it. I can only hope that Depp gets the backlash and consequences he deserves, and the only reason I will watch the next film(s) of the franchise is that I am willing to separate him as an actor (professional life) and as a person (his personal life). I suppose there are many who have done wrong in the film industry and not all of them have been "banned" from their profession, so perhaps it's not possible for that to be done for someone like Depp who's such a famous and admittedly a good actor. 

I am not saying I support the decision, but just that I have accepted the casting as it is, and I am still going to watch the movies, keeping strictly the professional standpoint in mind, and because I loved the first film and I am looking forward to the second. 

P.S. Also what @Elena said above makes sense; they are allegations so one can never be sure. Someone's career definitely will not be ruined based on that and there's probably the issue of contracts and such. Regardless, I hope that if Johnny Depp really is guilty, then I hope he pays for it one way or another, personally or professionally. Sadly, without knowing all the facts 100%, I certainly can't condemn him or boycott something he is starring in.

Edited by Lost Muse

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Professor McGonagall

I'm just not a fan of Johnny Depp as an actor. Don't get me wrong, when I was younger (though it's not so very long ago) I adored him as Captain Jack for the first three films and found him a passable Sweeney Todd. I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a lot as well. But now I see that he plays the same goofy, weirdly-hair styled character that made him a household name back in 2001. He has no depth other than goofy or mildly aggressive. His days as a heartthrob are over, and the allegations against him are just the nail in the coffin.

As for the sexual allegations, I believe when he gave the settlement he damned himself. In the past few months, there have been some pretty heavy allegations, confessions, and so on as a result of the ongoing movement against people that I thought were rolemodels: Kevin Spacey, an actor that I liked for his impressions but didn't see much else of; Al Franken, the Senator my dad wanted to be president before Franken resigned; Geoffrey Rush, one of my favorite character actors, not only in Pirates but also in Genius and in The King's Speech. While I certainly think most of them, indeed many of them, are true, I don't believe all of them are. Yet it astounds me that such a change in Hollywood culture happened possibly overnight. It is astounding.

Johnny Depp's Grindelwald will quite possibly be the low point of any HP fan's day, as not only does he look ahistoric and unlike Jamie Campbell Bower's rendition, or like the older gentlemen in Voldemort's flashbacks in the last two movies, he just felt- to me- wrong for the part. As if he was selected, and perhaps the reason why he's in, only because of his famous name. Which wouldn't make any sense, since why would you attach someone to an already famous series solely on their name unless they were perfectly suited for it, as Rowling believes him to be? He's not in the slightest.

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Elena
21 hours ago, Professor McGonagall said:

I'm just not a fan of Johnny Depp as an actor. Don't get me wrong, when I was younger (though it's not so very long ago) I adored him as Captain Jack for the first three films and found him a passable Sweeney Todd. I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a lot as well. But now I see that he plays the same goofy, weirdly-hair styled character that made him a household name back in 2001. He has no depth other than goofy or mildly aggressive. His days as a heartthrob are over, and the allegations against him are just the nail in the coffin.

As for the sexual allegations, I believe when he gave the settlement he damned himself. In the past few months, there have been some pretty heavy allegations, confessions, and so on as a result of the ongoing movement against people that I thought were rolemodels: Kevin Spacey, an actor that I liked for his impressions but didn't see much else of; Al Franken, the Senator my dad wanted to be president before Franken resigned; Geoffrey Rush, one of my favorite character actors, not only in Pirates but also in Genius and in The King's Speech. While I certainly think most of them, indeed many of them, are true, I don't believe all of them are. Yet it astounds me that such a change in Hollywood culture happened possibly overnight. It is astounding.

Johnny Depp's Grindelwald will quite possibly be the low point of any HP fan's day, as not only does he look ahistoric and unlike Jamie Campbell Bower's rendition, or like the older gentlemen in Voldemort's flashbacks in the last two movies, he just felt- to me- wrong for the part. As if he was selected, and perhaps the reason why he's in, only because of his famous name. Which wouldn't make any sense, since why would you attach someone to an already famous series solely on their name unless they were perfectly suited for it, as Rowling believes him to be? He's not in the slightest.

3

Johnny's been a household name longer than 2001 ;) A Nightmare on Elm Street, 21 Jump Street, Edward Scissorhands to name a few. 

It's fine not to like him as an actor. We all have our own personal tastes. But if we condemned everyone who allegedly did something, there would be more condemned than actually in "good" society. There was a thing recently where Matt Damon spoke out about this and was condemned on TV and told to "Shut up". But in the interview, he said that this current wave is weeding out the "bag guys" in the industry, which is a good thing. He also says it will do away with confidentiality agreements. Basically, in the past, if someone was making noise and a big movie was due to be released they'd "settle" it in a confidentiality agreement, even if it was a false accusation. They didn't want any bad publicity before a movie was due to be released. However, now, people will fight these allegations in court to protect their name and reputation, which I believe Geoffrey Rush is doing.

The difference here is that the settlement was a divorce settlement, not a harassment suit and Amber withdrew her complaints.

I think when it comes to actors and the parts they play, it's up to the actor make the viewer believe they own that role. Some will and love it 100%, some will think its just OK, others will hate it. When The Vampire Diaries released as a TV show, it took me FOREVER to accept the butchering of the books and the character changes, especially "Elena". I have been a fan of the book since it released in the late 90s. But eventually, I was won over.

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Professor McGonagall
On 1/1/2018 at 1:21 PM, Elena said:

Johnny's been a household name longer than 2001 ;) A Nightmare on Elm Street, 21 Jump Street, Edward Scissorhands to name a few.

Heh, I see what I wrote there with the 2001 bit. I suppose I meant Captain Jack, but you're right that he was a household name before then. I did like Edward Scissorhands, now that I think about it.

Unfortunately I'm too much of a cynic to believe that there is a good society. I think that good and bad deeds deserve their just rewards and that truth is relative and all that tripe. Even if she withdrew her complaints, she might have still been silenced. Perhaps he didn't do it. The fact still stands that in the court of public opinion, Johnny Depp beat his wife regardless of the facts or results of the settlement: he's damned himself. It's incredibly slippery.

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Elena
56 minutes ago, Professor McGonagall said:

The fact still stands that in the court of public opinion, Johnny Depp beat his wife regardless of the facts or results of the settlement: he's damned himself. It's incredibly slippery.

 

So there is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty? Only guilty? 

I don't think Depp is damned. I think if he's innocent, he'll fight to clear his name and reputation. If he is guilty, the truth will come out one way or another.

 

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just.a.willow.tree
5 minutes ago, Elena said:

So there is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty? Only guilty?

Well, no.

This has been mentioned before in the thread, but a distinction has to be made between social acceptance based on allegations, and then legal consequences based on allegations. The latter is obviously not okay; our legal process has a strict "innocent until proven guilty" rule. However, it's also the only situation in which "innocent until proven guilty" is a required part of the process. After all, the phrase was created in order to have a fairer justice system.

But when someone is accused of something as serious domestic abuse, that doesn't mean that the people surrounding the alleged accuser have to accept him, especially if he is a major figure in the public eye. Additionally, Johnny Depp needs help; his alcoholism has returned for the worse, and his work ethic has been failing more and more (just look at reports of his behavior during Dead Men Tell No Tales). There are many strikes against him.

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Elena
16 minutes ago, just.a.willow.tree said:

But when someone is accused of something as serious domestic abuse, that doesn't mean that the people surrounding the alleged accuser have to accept him, especially if he is a major figure in the public eye.

 

But that also means that he doesn't have to be rejected either.

 

"Accusations" are just that. If we bring it back to the HP world, look at what happened to Sirius. This happens a lot in real life too. Not to mention many people extort, are fraudulent, blackmail, etc. We only know what the media reports. We do not get 100% of the facts. Which is why hanging a person based on hardly any facts can also be wrong.

I’m someone that that needs to know, not think, that a person is guilty to be punished. I do not want to be responsible for the innocence of a person to be robbed from them. So I sit on the fence till more is known.

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Professor McGonagall
Just now, Elena said:

So there is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty? Only guilty? 

I don't think Depp is damned. I think if he's innocent, he'll fight to clear his name and reputation. If he is guilty, the truth will come out one way or another.

 

Oh sure, in a court of law he's innocent and she'd dismissed it with prejudice. Innocent until proven guilty, which he was not proven to be. I don't deny that. What I'm trying and failing to say is that public opinion is pretty difficult to change obviously enough and that there hasn't been enough positive Johnny Depp media coverage to make people either forget the allegations as had happened, or even a public apology as far as I'm aware on Depp's side.

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Elena
1 minute ago, Professor McGonagall said:

Oh sure, in a court of law he's innocent and she'd dismissed it with prejudice. Innocent until proven guilty, which he was not proven to be. I don't deny that. What I'm trying and failing to say is that public opinion is pretty difficult to change obviously enough and that there hasn't been enough positive Johnny Depp media coverage to make people either forget the allegations as had happened, or even a public apology as far as I'm aware on Depp's side.

It never went to court though, she withdrew her complaint. They went through a divorce settlement and I posted above the public statement - so I don't believe a public apology is needed.

I hear what you are saying about public opinion - But the public opinion rarely means anything if it cannot also be fair. I think the state of the world is all about "I think this and that's all that matters, so make what I think right." And you get this on many topics, not just this one, but in regard to race, religion, gender, equality, etc. As I said above, if he is proven to be guilty - and the truth always manages to surface - especially about this topic now with the "Me too" movement and "Times Up" - then I'm sure not only will he suffer the weight of public opinion, but also the law. But if he is innocent he was hanged by the public for no reason other than someone said something about him that wasn't true.

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MalfoysAngel

At the end of the day, the only two people who know exactly what happened are Heard and Depp. If he did, in fact, beat her then he needs to be nailed to the wall for it, if not then we are crucifying an innocent man. The truth of it is, the general public doesn't know and will never know the entire truth of what happened. 

I'm a huge fan of Johnny Depp the actor, but as I don't know Johnny Depp the person, I can not reasonably pass judgment on him or his actions. I think that if he was guilty, then the matter would have gone further than what it did and Heard wouldn't have agreed to settle out of court for an amount that she couldn't keep anyway. Everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon and join the angry mob with their torches and pitchforks against Depp, that I don't think anyone has really been willing to listen to his side of things and there are always 3 sides to every story. In this case, you have Heard's side, Depp's side and the truth. Without knowing more about the situation and without being to gather information from both sides to attempt to discover the truth, I refuse to condemn a man who may be innocent. 

With that being said, Johnny Depp should have never been cast as Grindelwald in the first place. One of the things I loved about the HP films was that they used an (almost) entire British cast for a movie that takes place in the UK. What was the casting department thinking casting an American actor to play the role of a character from the other side of the world? There are plenty of other actors who would do a better job of bringing the character to life. (Bill Skarsgard comes to mind since his role in the new IT movie was creepy!)

 

I plan on watching FB2 to support the other cast and crew that worked hard to bring this world to life. 

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abhorsen.

The vast, vast majority of allegations of domestic violence (and sexual assault) are true. The vast, vast majority of men who are guilty of domestic violence (and sexual assault) do not face jail time for it. There are many documented cases of people who have been abused settling out of court. Many, many people have listened to "his side of things" and have branded Heard a liar.

It is true that we don't know what happened between them for a fact. However, all of the things I just listed are facts, and if one's argument regarding Depp relies on ignoring any of them, that's a sign that there's something problematic in one's rationalization of the situation.

It's also not fair to characterize people who care deeply about these issues - many of whom care for very personal reasons - as "jump[ing] on the bandwagon and join[ing] the angry mob." Whatever your opinion on Depp is, dismissing the pain, empathy, and passion that many of us approach this issue with as being mindless in nature is incredibly hurtful.

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Elena

Nobody is dismissing anything nor any victims.

In this case, it's up to Amber to come forward and stick to her allegations if they in fact, true. If there is a confidentiality agreement, then it's up to her legal team. As I stated above, there was a divorce settlement and a withdrawal of allegations. If Depp is guilty, it will come out one way or another. But people can throw accusations out in the wind at any time for any reason. This is why they are "allegations". But a man's life, career, and reputation are on the line. If he is guilty, I hope they go after him and he gets what he deserves - but if he's not guilty and Amber was just hurt and angry about the divorce and said stuff that isn't true, should he have to pay for that?

Imagine if it were you - not the victim (well, if the allegations are false, Depp technically is the victim), but the one having allegations thrown at you. Would you want to be considered guilty without proof?

Edited by Elena

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TidalDragon

I agree with your premise @Elena in that I have seen many people, famous or otherwise, who have lost their jobs, livelihood, and reputation to ultimately false allegations because of the court of public opinion wherever they were. However these situations and the varying legal standards that accompany them can't be looked at in a vacuum. First, false allegations occur most often in "he-said-she-said" cases where there is no tangible or third-party evidence. In Depp's case though, there is a lot of evidence against him. Third-party calls to police followed by the classic "verbal-only" recant that often comes in these situations after she initially reported a violent situation. A DVPO being issued against him. Photos of injuries sustained by Heard.

While I don't know how it works out there, it is true that the initial DVPO was likely granted at an ex parte hearing, but even then issuance is not some guarantee. It is true that the initial statement to police could've been the false statement rather than the latter. However, the weight of studied evidence shows this to be incredibly unlikely. It's not a surprise Heard would settle the case and withdraw the DVPO - she was being raked through the coals by many who, as is sadly typical of victims of domestic violence are often not trusted or are ascribed ulterior motives. This actually plays into a classic tactic of abusers: convincing their victims that the system won't help them, that nobody will believe them, that nobody will believe them over the abuser, that it will be worse for them if they do stand up for themselves.

While I initially left my own post on this about my concerns between protecting alleged victims and the rights of the accused, I think the most compelling thing I discovered, leading me to edit my original post shortly thereafter is the photos. Unless you believe that they either: (1) came from somewhere else, which AFAIK, has never been claimed by anyone or (2) that Heard did it to herself or had someone else do so at her request just to support false allegations, which IMO strains credulity, the evidence is very strong that she was abused.

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abhorsen.

@Elena - Tasha said:

Quote

Everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon and join the angry mob with their torches and pitchforks against Depp, that I don't think anyone has really been willing to listen to his side of things and there are always 3 sides to every story.

That characterizes that those of us who feel differently that her as just "jump[ing] on the bandwagon" and "join[ing] the angry mob." That is minimizing, and it is hurtful. Putting a rebuttal in bold doesn't change that.

To answer your question: I would agree with you if we were living in a perfect world, but we aren't. A settlement and a withdrawal of allegations happens so, so often in cases where abuse took place that while sticking to the allegations would certainly make things easier for bystanders, it shouldn't be taken to disprove anything any more than people taking years to come forward does. Guilty men rarely face consequences, so I don't take my cues from society or the justice system - I know a number of men who have abused, assaulted, harassed, or otherwise mistreated women (since each instance happened to either me or a close friend, I'm very comfortable saying that each one is guilty), and none of them has faced any significant social or legal consequences for their actions toward us.

Either Heard or Depp is a victim here. Both the evidence in the case (which Kevin goes into above) and the statistics regarding false allegations of domestic violence point very strongly toward Heard being the victim. Since there's no neutrality here - allowing someone who is guilty of abuse to remain as an admired public figure is inherently and deeply painful to the victim, and it also gives them a platform to continue to abuse others - I choose to believe the person who both the specific evidence and broader statistics strongly suggest is the real victim. If I were accused of something similarly heinous, I would expect people to believe where the evidence was weighted - since I've never done anything like that, it would presumably be weighted toward me.

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Elena

I'll post this here: Amber Heard: JK Rowling ‘just not right’ about Johnny Depp 

The above has a pic that Amber has posted, but it's more her joint statement, that she so wants everyone to remember - because she tweeted it: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to charity.”

I'm not arguing what your personal opinion might be, I've already said that I'm on the fence. But what Tasha said is also a truth. This is why I'm choosing not to believe Depp or Heard. We are not talking stats, we are talking Heard and Depp and they settled a divorce. They both gave an agreed statement. For all we know, they were both "volatile" to each other. Sure things get settled all the time, but unless you know all the details in that settlement, you only have partial facts. How do we know that, in that confidentiality agreement, Depp also has stuff on her that he agrees not to reveal to protect her name and reputation as much as he wants to protect his own? How do we know any pictures she's taken and posted aren't work injuries or injuries sustained elsewhere? We don't. Did she go to a hospital and have it documented? Go to the police and have him arrested and charged? We don't know anything more than he said this and she said this. There is another article that says that in one episode where she claims that Depp was smashing up the place she was on the phone with a friend and asked them to call the police, but when they got there, she had no physical injuries, everything seemed in order, but there was a verbal argument. This is why I chose to be a fence sitter. Contradictory evidence doesn't prove anything one way or the other. 
 

Edited by Elena

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abhorsen.

Neither your argument nor opinion pieces along the lines of the one that you linked to are new to people in this thread. We aren't arguing from a place of ignorance or a desire to "jump on the bandwagon" - which is still a dismissive and hurtful opinion, not a "truth." We have evaluated this case (and, for many of us, the broader societal movement) on its merits, and after doing so, find arguments along the lines of what you and others have made in this thread to be wholly unconvincing. Part of why I find it unconvincing is that I've seen pretty much every argument you're making used to excuse men I know to be abusive and violent toward women.

I think it's going to be most productive right now for us to agree to disagree.

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Elena

I never insinuated that you were ignorant or jumping on any bandwagon. Nothing I have said in this thread is targeted at anyone. I'm responding my thoughts and opinions based on how I see the whole situation. I'm sorry if this topic goes to a personal place for you. You are not the only one touched by it and just because my opinion differs to yours, it doesn't mean that I condone abusers or making excuses. I posted that link based on what @TidalDragon said. 

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abhorsen.

I understand that you haven't accused anyone of jumping on a bandwagon. However, as I noted above, Tasha did (in those words), and you explicitly said in your response to my post where I quoted her that "What Tasha said is also a truth." If that's not what you were referring to, then there's been a miscommunication. Regardless, as I said, I think that it's going to be most productive to agree to disagree.

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Elena

And I do agree, you had the right reference. However, that was not meant to be taken personally. As I said, nothing of what I have said is targeted at anyone. In general, when there is a debate much like this one “society” tends to jump on board. Technically, we both belong to that society but it doesn’t mean that either one of us fall into that category. 

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abhorsen.

But many of us do sympathize and/or identify with that broader societal movement. I have no desire to divorce myself from the overarching demand for justice; I embrace it. Regardless of whether you do separate yourself from it, this is still an innately personal issue that reminds many of us of some of the worst experiences in our lives. When Tasha said:

Quote

Everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon and join the angry mob with their torches and pitchforks against Depp, that I don't think anyone has really been willing to listen to his side of things and there are always 3 sides to every story.

in response to a thread where people have been criticizing him, it's not really a leap to feel like we've been characterized as "jumping on the bandwagon" and "joining the angry mob." That's deeply dismissive and hurtful; there's no other way to put it. Either we're being characterized as rare good apples from a mindless mob of people many of us largely agree with, or we're part of the mindless mob. Neither of those things is okay to say, particularly given the clearly negative connotation with anger as an emotion. Regardless of one's opinion about Depp in particular, we (and others) have the right to be angry about a societal paradigm in which many people (predominantly men) habitually abuse their power to sexually victimize people (predominantly women and LGBTQA+ people in general), intimidate them into silence, and punish those who refuse to comply by sabotaging their careers, their livelihoods, and their social standing.

I understand that you didn't make the original bandwagon/angry mob comment, and you may well have chosen other words if you'd said it. However, I think it's really important to keep in mind that when the subject is deeply personal, people will take broad characterizations of their allies personally.

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