Johnny Depp took one hell of a gamble – and he’s lost out. In fact, everyone involved has lost.
Now, in the aftermath, we have the immovable object of the words ‘wife beater’ experiencing the pressure of an irresistible force – Depp’s super-fans.
That international fanbase worked to protect their icon – ensuring that #JusticeForJohnnyDepp trended next to #TheScum (the ugly nickname for The Sun).
It’s fascinating to see so many modern cultural trends intersect and collide. From social media vs. traditional media, the people vs. the judiciary, the press vs. the powerful, to the true meaning of #MeToo.
Does Depp deserve equal respect and protection as a victim of domestic violence himself? Or does this defence purposefully distort #MeToo’s first mission to protect women? Those arguments (and those arguing) rage but they have little bearing on the ugly, complicated truth.
Regardless, this could prove a wound that could finish Depp. How long until the dust settles? Can he, the consummate franchise merchant, convince corporate Hollywood that his fanbase are louder than his detractors?
Depp is standing at the bottom of Everest, without oxygen and in his underpants. He’s got a long way to go, it’s going to be much harder than it could’ve been, but he might just make it.