Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship has been a target of speculation ever since Heard filed for divorce in 2016. Their tumultuous legal battle started when Amber Heard stated that Depp had been abusive during their relationship and had hit her on multiple occasions. The divorce came after, as Heard suggested, Depp threw a phone at her under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Although, Depp dismissed the rumors as fake, many people came in support of Heard. Heard had posted authentic pictures and voice memos suggesting that she had been a victim of abuse. Most tabloids and stories on the internet had been in support of Heard.
Many of Depp’s friends and ex- girlfriends spoke up in support of him. Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis stated that Depp had been a respectful and loving man during their respective relationships. This, however, was not enough to redeem Depp’s image in the mess. Depp started losing movies and had many articles against him.
But, in 2020, a voice recording of Heard came to light that suggested her hitting and defaming Depp. The voice recording said, “I’m sorry that I didn’t … hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched.
“I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you.”
In the light of the new evidence, there was an uproar of support for Johnny Depp from his fans and social media with the hashtags, #SupportJohnny, #SupportJohhnyDepp and #JohnnyDeppisInnocent. There have been petitions to fire Heard from future movies as well.
Yet, a recent article in ‘The Sun’ termed Depp as a ‘wife-beater’. Depp went to court to fight these allegations but with no avail. These false claims led to him losing out his role as Grindelwald in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’, as he stated on his social media, saying “My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false,” Depp added. “My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”
This incident goes to shows how male abuse is treated as nonsensical and largely ignored by society. The hypocritical responses to Heard and Depp’s claim shed light on how toxic the media is and how it is easily manipulated. Even though, Depp lost out on his roles in some major movies, Heard continues to act in movies produced by the same production house that chose to fire Depp, that is, Warner Bros. It is incredibly disheartening to see the underlying sexism that surrounds abuse towards men. Men too fall victim to domestic abuse yet most of their claims are not treated seriously and with the same intensity as ones from a woman might. Although the majority victims of domestic abuse are women, men do go through abuse from their significant others in more than one form. The superficial ‘wokeness’ of tabloids and magazines that engage in a toxic idea of feminism choose to ignore Depp’s claims but it is important to acknowledge the fact that men too are abused and it is important to support them.
Amongst all this, Amber is still set to star in Aquaman 2, which is produced by Warner Bros., the same production house that fired Depp. This is just one incident that has come to light. There are many more victims who choose not to speak up. It is essential for us to support evidence and not gender norms. Men can be victims too and they must receive the same support as any other.