Actor Johnny Depp says that the solution to cancel culture is to stand up against the mob and to support individuals who are facing cancellation so they don’t go through the situation alone.
“When there’s an injustice, whether it’s against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in – stand up, don’t sit down. ‘Cause they need you,” said Depp.
Aside from Johnny Depp’s very public breakup from actress Amber Heard, which led to a stream of negative press reports alleging claims of domestic abuse by the popular Pirates of the Caribbean actor, Depp has remained silent on the ongoing culture war, which he was inevitably dragged into.
Publicly speaking up for the first time, Depp sounded off on cancel culture during the Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain on Wednesday, where he received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to film.
In a Q&A with the press, the actor spoke about his “cancellation” in Hollywood and cancel culture in general.
“It’s a very complex situation,” he said, the Associated Press reported. “This instant rush to judgment based on essentially what amounts to polluted air. It’s got so far out of hand that I can assure you, no one is safe. Not one of you, so long as someone is willing to say one thing.”
“It takes one sentence and there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled,” said Depp regarding his experience with facing accusations of domestic abuse. “It’s not just me that this has happened to. It’s happened to a lot of people.”
The actor worried that his mere presence at the film festival could cause controversy for the event’s organizers due to the current political climate.
“I haven’t done anything, I just make movies,” he said.
Depp’s former romantic interest, Amber Heard, accused him in 2016 of physically assaulting and abusing her. Depp has never been charged or convicted of domestic violence, and his past romantic partners have defended him against Heard’s description of his character.
Depp’s ex-wife Vanessa Paradis and his ex-fiancée Winona Ryder have both defended him against Heard’s claims, with Paradis describing her 14-year relationship with him as a “kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.” Ryder, meanwhile, said she could not “wrap [her] head around [Heard’s] accusations” about him, adding that he was never abusive toward her.
As detailed in the Daily Wire:
In 2009, Heard herself was arrested and charged with physically assaulting a then-girlfriend. And in 2020, the Daily Mail obtained phone recordings wherein Heard admitted to hitting Depp and throwing household items at him. She also called him a “f**king baby” for fleeing one late-night altercation and said she couldn’t promise she “wouldn’t get physical again.”
Nonetheless, an event in 2020 proved to be a nail in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s professional coffin. He lost a libel case against British tabloid The Sun after it ran a headline calling him a “wife-beater.” In that case, a U.K. judge found “the great majority” of Heard’s accusations substantially true.
At that point, Warner Bros dropped him from the “Fantastic Beasts” sequel. (The studio did not fire Heard from an “Aquaman” sequel after the Daily Mail tapes showed she’d confessed to physically assaulting Depp.)
Depp is currently suing Heard in the United States for defamation, specifically for a Washington Post opinion article in which she described marital abuse but did not name Depp. The trial is set to take place in 2022, Deadline reported.