Dakota Johnson is an enigma to me, between her legendary Ellen Degeneres interview (which I personally believe was what ultimately led to the talk show host’s professional demise) and her complicated relationship with limes. She keeps it so real, arguably too real, that I desperately want to stan—yet, I’m also often reminded of a 2021 interview with The Hollywood Reporter in which Johnson bemoaned the “clamor of cancel culture,” and cited her “incredible” experiences working with Johnny Depp, Shia LaBeouf, and of course, Armie Hammer, who has been accused of grooming, sexual predation, and rape by several women.
On Thursday evening at the Sundance Film Festival, Johnson surprisingly had more to say about Hammer. Per PageSix and THR’s Chris Gardner, she joked (I guess?) that she’d almost been cast in Call Me By Your Name, which starred Hammer and Timothee Chalamet, by director Luca Guadagnino. “Sadly, I wasn’t in [the movie]. Luca had asked me to play the role of the peach, but our schedules conflicted,” Johnson said, referring to an iconic moment in Call Me By Your Name in which Chalamet masturbates using a peach. “Thank God, though, because I would’ve been another woman that Armie Hammer had tried to eat,” Johnson continued.
PageSix reported that Johnson’s remarks were initially met with “a few laughs and chortles,” then “an awkward pause,” and then, a swell of “rapturous applause and cheers.”
“Who knew cannibalism was so popular?” Johnson quipped, a possible reference to Guadagnino’s most recent film (also starring Chalamet), Bones and All.
Color me confused by all of this. Was Johnson poking fun at Hammer and the allegations against him, or mocking the outrage that his alleged actions rightfully inspired? It’s impossible to tell what, or who, exactly, the true butt of her joke is, given her past comments defending Hammer. I wasn’t in the room, so I couldn’t tell you her exact tone, but until Johnson clarifies where she stands on the allegations against Hammer—and, for that matter, Depp and LaBeouf—I’ll find any jokes she makes about alleged male predators more than a little shady.
In 2020, several women began sharing screenshots, recordings, and other evidence of emotional and physical abuse sustained from Hammer. In March 2021, one woman alleged that Hammer “violently raped” her for four hours in April 2017, prompting an ongoing investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. The allegations against Hammer, as well as a long-standing history of alleged abuse and criminality within his family, were the subject of House of Hammer, a Discovery+ docuseries that came out last summer.
As Johnson makes headlines over her jokes, I’m reminded of a plea from Jezebel’s Harron Walker in 2021 that we all focus on the abuse allegations against Hammer rather the potential cannibalism fetish. And she was right! Take note, Dakota!