Johnny Depp Fans Organise 24-Hour ‘Depp Movie Night’ To Support Disgraced Actor
A group of Johnny Depp fans have begun organising 24-hour Depp movie marathons in a ‘show of support and unity’ for the disgraced actor.
The ‘Depp Movie Nights‘ are monthly global viewing parties in which the actor’s fans – who refer to themselves as ‘Deppheads’ – pick a Johnny Depp movie to watch together and live tweet on social media. The fans have also been attempting to get hashtags like #WeSupportJohnnyDepp and #WeStandWithJohnnyDepp trending on Twitter.
Organisers of the Depp Movie Nights write on their website that the purpose of the events are not solely to celebrate the actor, but also to foster a sense of community ‘in these dark times of the Covid-19 crisis’. However, they add that through their vocal demonstration of support for Depp, they are attempting to push back against ‘particular media outlets intent on spin’ in the wake of the actor’s recent legal battles.
In November last year, Depp was asked to step down from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, after a court ruling supported claims of domestic abuse made by his former wife Amber Heard. Depp, who had been attempting to clear his name by suing The Sun newspaper for labelling him a ‘wifebeater’, lost his libel case after a judge found the details of the alleged abuse to be ‘substantially true’.
The actor denies the allegations and has lodged an appeal against the ruling.
Yet while many of Depp’s former fans and colleague have disavowed the actor, a considerable number have continued to stand by him. While the Depp Movie Night organisers gloss over the actor’s domestic abuse record, separate fan organisations have directly defended Depp against the claims, with some attacking and attempting to discredit Heard.
The Depp Movie Night campaign has also launched a series of petitions calling for the actor to be reinstated in his roles in both the Fantastic Beasts and Pirates of the Caribbean sequels.
The Movie Nights raise an interesting question surrounding how to approach art made by disgraced stars. It’s an issue that has sparked lots of debate as a result of the #MeToo movement, with people questioning whether it’s okay to continue to watch and enjoy films made by known and accused abusers.
Policing what people should and shouldn’t be allowed to watch raises its own issues, however despite the Depp Movie Night organisers’ claims that they are merely attempting to celebrate the career of an iconic movie star, there are concerns that the vocal support for the actor that characterises the Depp Movie Nights crosses a line, and instead attempts to excuse or whitewash Depp’s alleged record of abuse.
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