You Don’t Know Anything About Johnny Depp’s Character
One morning when I was nine years old, I woke up to find a biography of Johnny Depp under my pillow. I was losing teeth at a rapid-fire pace at that age and the tooth fairy could hardly keep up. The book about Johnny is the most memorable gift I received from that strange childhood tradition.
As a pre-teen, Pirates of the Caribbean and Edward Scissorhands posters were tacked all over the pink and purple walls of my bedroom, my closet was home to Cry Baby T-shirts from Hot Topic, and I subjected myself to Sweeney Todd despite my extreme aversion to gore and horror, just to see Depp’s performance.
His fall from grace both on-screen and off has felt like a loss. Over the years, I have accepted that his present failures don’t negate his prior success, and that I can still enjoy performances by a “washed up” star.
The current defamation trial is upsetting, but I am not here to speculate on the truth of what happened between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. I’m not even going to talk about the trial in detail because one, I don’t follow closely, and two, it’s not the point.
What we are seeing with Depp fans and their unyielding support for the actor is nothing new. The #MeToo movement forced us to start grappling with separating art from artist years ago and proved that many of us couldn’t bring ourselves to condemn the comedians and filmmakers whose work we enjoyed.
When it comes to Depp and Heard, it doesn’t matter who anyone likes better. Despite how things often play out, justice isn’t a popularity contest. Your loyalty as a fan should not extend to Depp’s personal affairs.
In Chanel Miller (Emily Doe)’s case, it was often “Brock Turner, The Swimmer” before it was “Brock Turner, The Rapist,” even though the two had nothing to do with each other. You are not a fan of Johnny Depp, the person who may or may not be abusive, but Johnny Depp, the actor.