In a time when the number of streaming services seems to increase by the day, it’s convenient when one of them makes a business decision so egregious that my moral compass—and my wallet—cannot possibly ignore it. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Netflix acquired the rights to stream Johnny Depp’s upcoming film, La Favorite. The film will be Depp’s first feature role since his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Fortunately, mere hours later, a Twitter thread went viral, reminding the internet just how disastrous Depp’s choices have been.
Penned by popular cyber-sleuth Kamilla, the thread catalogues Depp’s most bizarre and baleful incidents—and has receipts.
It begins with an article that details how Depp once went on a mission with good pal Marilyn Manson to purchase the gun that Hitler killed himself with. Just bois being besties! If you think it can’t get any more sordid than that, strap in. The following three tweets note after Depp’s role in the 2013 film, The Lone Ranger, in which he played Tonto, he was the subject of backlash from Native leaders and Indigenous activists. In an attempt to counter their justifiable opposition, Depp claimed that he actually had Native ancestry and even offered to purchase the site of Wounded Knee and return it to the Sioux. Though the land cost a fraction of his salary for the film, he never followed through. Court watchers may also remember that in text messages, Depp referred to himself as an, “angry aggro injun.” To be clear, there is no proof that he has any Native ancestry.
You know what they say, where there’s thinly veiled racism, a fetishization of Indigenous culture, and an interest in Hitler, there’s also an apologist for sexual predators. The thread goes on to show Depp defending Roman Polanski, a noted pedophile and rapist, and perhaps more shockingly, court documents in which he defends the 23-year-old man living with his then-15-year-old daughter, Lily-Rose, in a statutory rape claim. In 2012, he also wrote a lionizing profile of Harvey Weinstein for Time that included the sentence: “He can be your most frightening nightmare and your closest friend.” You don’t say!
Then there’s Depp’s own questionable relationship past. Remember when a series of exes came forward to say that Depp had never exhibited abusive behavior, suggesting that Heard was the only woman to make such allegations? That’s not exactly true. Vanessa Paradis, Depp’s former longterm partner, was paid $150 million when they split, and ex-wife, Lori Anne Allison, was reportedly given $1 million simply to stay mum about a voicemail he left her in which he repeatedly used the N-word. More messages shown in court also revealed that he called Paradis a “french extortionist cunt.” In an interview with Hunter S. Thompson, they discussed occasionally beating women “like a rug,” to keep them in line.
Somehow, it gets worse.
In two different interviews, ex-girlfriend Winona Ryder confirmed she started seeing Depp when she was just 17; he was in his late-20s. She’s also said that her first boyfriend—very likely to be Depp—had a fondness for “smashing things.” Ellen Barkin, another ex-girlfriend, alleged the same behavior, testifying in court that Depp was prone to jealousy and violent rages that once included hurling a wine bottle at her. In her recent memoir, Jennifer Grey, called Depp “crazy jealous” and “paranoid” when they dated in the 1980s. Even weirder ex-commentary? When asked in an interview why Depp only appears to date white women, he said ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, a white woman, was the “furthest thing from white.” The evidence? Her “high-water booty.”
The thread also adds a series of allegations about Depp’s history of violent behavior. In 2012, a disabled UC Irvine professor sought punitive damages against Depp after his bodyguards assaulted and handcuffed her at an Iggy and the Stooges concert. In a separate incident, he allegedly drunkenly punched someone on the set of the 2017 film City of Lies, for which he will soon appear in court.
There are plenty of other gems—like a 1995 interview in which he feels vindicated that a crush who rejected him in eighth grade became “as wide as a table”; court documents that note Depp repeatedly called a transgender witness in the Heard case a “dike bitch”; and a proclivity for pissing and shitting in bizarre places—sound familiar?
The announcement from Netflix came as Depp continues to tour with guitarist Jeff Beck, and receives daily adulation in person and on his new TikTok account. He’s recently donated the proceeds from an NFT sale to four charities, including the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, the same place his ex-wife promised to donate half of her divorce settlement. Clearly, his attempts to salvage his reputation and restore his “ruined life” are paying off.
However, if I were a major streaming service, I think I’d be paying closer attention to the track records of the men whose projects I invest in.