In today’s daily reminder that stanning celebrities will inevitably lead to a world of heartbreak and misery, I regret to inform you that a massive army of famous people have “liked” Johnny Depp’s statement on Instagram following his legal victory over ex-wife Amber Heard.
After Depp and Heard’s weeks-long defamation trial came to a close, Depp posted a long-winded statement thanking his supporters and declared “the best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.” In response, the celebs unfortunately came out in droves to show their support and the list of Depp supporters includes some less-than-surprising A-listers—like Vanessa “people are gonna die [shrug]” Hudgens, and alleged serial abuser Ryan Adams (lol). It also, tragically, includes some of the “good ones”: beloved gay pirate Taika Waititi; America’s favorite Asians (Gemma Chan, Henry Golding, and Olympic gymnast Suni Lee); and other (now formerly) beloved icons like Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, Bella Hadid, Halle Bailey, Hailey Bieber, Naomi Campbell, Dominic Fike, Gabby Douglas, Heard’s co-star Jason Momoa, and more—so, so many more!!
Now, if I were in possession of tens of millions of dollars and easy access to a mega-yacht or two, I would simply know when to shut the fuck up. Or, at the very least, not “like” the smug, victorious Instagram post of a man who had just dragged his ex-wife through a torturous legal spectacle of public humiliation for daring to tell the world he abused her. Indeed, not “liking” a deranged social media post seems simple enough!!
Alas, many a celeb simply couldn’t help but weigh in on Wednesday’s verdict. And if you’re not in the business of following abuser apologists on social media, BuzzFeed has the receipts laid out for you.
To really zero in on the list of offenders:
- Ashley Benson hasn’t done anything of note in years other than get dumped by white rapper (derogatory) G-Eazy—is this really the thing she wants to do to get her name back out there?
- Momoa notably “liked” both Heard and Depp’s posts, true to form as he’s a self-identified political “moderate” (ostentatious little term for “Republican”) and thus has to “both-sides” a domestic violence case in which Heard alleged that Depp at one point raped her with a liquor bottle. Cool!
- Hailey Bieber—a multi-millionaire nepotism baby who routinely whines about bullying on the internet—sure doesn’t seem to think a man throwing his wife onto the floor and nearly beating the life out of her in front of his friends and staff constitutes bullying. (Speaking of bullying, perhaps it’s time to bring some of that energy back—I doubt Hadid would be bold enough to back an alleged abuser in public if we were still dragging her for that wildly embarrassing Complex video, as we should. I, for one, still think about it at least once a day!)
Some of the names on that list are especially gutting for me—but this, if anything, speaks to just how salient the media smear campaign against Heard has been. Even seemingly intelligent artists and creators who have long publicly stood with victims and survivors weren’t immune to it.
For her part, Heard offered a wide range of damning evidence of this abuse that 99.99% of victims of intimate partner violence will never be able to provide. She could point to Depp’s long, extensive history of documented violence, including a 2018 lawsuit by a man who said Depp had beat him—the man was unsurprisingly spared the tried and true sexist smear campaign reserved for those who allege sexual violence. Still, apparently, this wasn’t enough to sway a jury of five men and two women, and a greater public that’s always frothing at the mouth to identify and pile onto a fully dehumanized stand-in for all women.
After being caught in unfortunate lies, diagnosed with mental illness, and Depp witnesses’ testimony that she had also gotten violent with the man who was abusing her, Heard simply could not fit the rigid mold of the ever evasive “perfect victim.” And our equal-parts media-illiterate and deeply sexist society was there in a heartbeat to drag her to hell for it.
I say this because you cannot for one second convince me that any of the backlash and public reaction to this trial has been about Johnny Depp’s irresistible charisma or handsomeness. He’s literally just some 60-year-old man who once played a pirate a decade ago. The public reaction isn’t about him—it’s entirely about how much our society fucking hates women.
In any case, I feel very happy and safe living in a society in which a man can beat a woman within an inch of her life, then make her pay $15 million for talking about it! And now, thanks to this list, I have the added pleasure of not being able to escape this reality by watching fun little movies and TV shows which are all apparently full of abuser apologists! I love it here!