Johnny Depp Dropped By Studio After “Wife Beater” Allegations: Is It A Fair Decision?

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Hollywood star Johnny Depp took to Instagram to announce that he will no longer play Grindelwald in the Warner Bros. franchise Fantastic Beasts. The studio has reportedly “asked him to resign” from the role after he lost a libel case in Britain against The Sun. The tabloid had labelled him a “wife beater” amidst claims of domestic violence against his former wife Amber Heard. They had stated in court that Depp “beat his wife Amber Heard, causing her to suffer significant injury, and on occasion leading to her fearing for her life,” and the ruling found these claims to be “substantially true.”

Johnny Depp wife beater allegations splits the internet

Depp, through his social media statement, has said, “The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal,” adding that “My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.” Depp’s resignation has left the internet divided: with some condemning him for violence against Heard and others standing in support of him. Clearly, there is more to this case than meets the eye.

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Why Social Media Is Supporting Johnny Depp?

Depp first played Grindelwald in the JK Rowling created universe in 2016, and then reprised his role for a second film in 2018. The upcoming sequel, yet unnamed, was projected to cast Grindelwald as one of the leading characters. Therefore fans who were eager to see Depp on-screen are naturally miffed with his forced resignation. A wave of support has been pouring in for him, including calls for boycotting the Fantastic Beasts series altogether.

However, that is not the only reason people are resenting the British court’s judgment. Following the couple’s turbulent divorce in 2018 where Heard claimed Depp had been “verbally and physically abusive,” Depp had responded with allegations of his own. In 2019, he alleged that it was in fact Heard who had been physically abusive in their relationship. Now, people are emphasising on the need to give attention to men who face assault.

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Did The Studio Do Right By Johnny Depp?

The questions that thus arise are along the lines of whether Depp’s exit from Warner Bros. must be hailed or condemned. Did the studio do right by the actor after the “substantially true” claims by a tabloid? Was his resignation justified since his half of the allegations still haven’t been addressed legally? Should the studio have waited longer to make a more balanced decision on the matter, instead of dropping him mere days after the court judgment?

Did the studio disgrace Depp’s decades-long, and needless to say unparalleled, career?

But there a pressing flip side to the situation too. Are repeated allegations of domestic violence by a woman, Heard in this case, not to be taken seriously? Wouldn’t the studio have been accused of giving space to an alleged “offender” if they hadn’t asked Depp to resign? And of course, the biggest, most perennial question of them all: after the “wife beater” labels, will Depp’s audience be able to separate the art from the artist?

Views expressed are the author’s own. 

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Johnny Depp Dropped By Studio After “Wife Beater” Allegations: Is It A Fair Decision?
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