Hypocritical Hollywood showed its true colors in the Depp v Heard trial
I tried to erase the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp libel suit as long as possible: it was clearly a grim spectacle of the dirtiest dirty laundry of others being pressed to death for public consumption in the genre of circus only possible in America.
But the verdict, handed down last week in favor of Depp, made continuing ignorance impossible. Carnival had won Depp $8 million in damages from ex-wife Heard for a line she wrote in a 2018 Washington Post article, in which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic violence”. Depp was not mentioned, but he sued her nonetheless.
As a girl, I loved, even adored, Depp – he was my first Hollywood crush. But it looks like he’s not the man I once imagined him to be. According to court documents, in a series of text exchanges with his friend and confidant, British actor Paul Bettany, Depp wrote: “Let’s burn Amber!!! “. Bettany replied: “After thinking about it, I don’t think we should burn Amber – she’s delightful company and fun to watch, and I’m not sure she’s a witch. We could of course try the plan English action in these tough situations – we’re doing a drowning test. Thoughts? Depp replied, “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! He then wrote that he “f—her corpse burned afterwards to make sure she was dead.”
The exchanges are not necessarily evidence of physical abuse – at least that is what the jury decided. But they are disgusting. Meanwhile, Heard, who like many women thinks she’s now the victim of dark passions that hate women if she wasn’t before, doesn’t seem like a likable character either. She is certainly deeply troubled.
The whole thing was, and is, grotesque. But then, since the revelations of what Harvey Weinstein did to women, tacitly supported or ignored by armies of male and female accomplices, we’ve become all too aware of what’s considered normal in the weird culture, golden, brutal and totally amoral. of the town of Tinsel.
What upsets the stomach, however, is the hypocrisy of it all. It’s the anti-Semitism lurking in plain sight while the bigwigs – from stars to directors – make big statements about diversity and anti-racism at every opportunity. It’s endless harassment about the environment, or this or that progressive cause – only for those same preachy fanatics to hop on their private jets to go on vacation.
It’s the absorption of the naval gaze into wellness therapy and culture, all that gibberish about personal growth, feelings and needs – and then the reality, which is the emotional brutality, the complete lack of kindness and decorum that allows for the horrible rudeness in Depp’s communication.
It is certainly ironic that in one of the most egocentric and therapeutically enhanced communities in the world, so many women are manipulative narcissists and so many men behave like thugs and gangsters. I can’t help but think about how, in Hollywood terms, Armie Hammer still qualifies as a real nice guy, only to share cannibalistic fantasies with the woman he was cheating on his wife with. Maybe Will Smith is still considered one of the good guys too: all he did was take the stage at the Oscars this year and slap Chris Rock for making a (bad) prank at the expense. of his wife.
The past few years have seen particularly intense virtue signals from Hollywood on trans rights and racism, resulting in counterproductive overhauls to casting and production, which now demand a box-based approach to talent based on skin color and gender identity, rather than fair recruitment of the best.
Yet we find that Disney, whose Reimagine Tomorrow campaign wants 50% of characters to be from “underrepresented groups” by 2023, and which has banned the offensive words “girls and boys” from its theme parks, apparently bows down to the genocide Chinese authorities so they can film in China.
His 2020 live action version of Mulan was filmed in Xinjiang, the province in which Uyghurs are systematically killed; the credits (for which Disney denies responsibility) thanked eight Xinjiang government agencies, including those who authorized what is widely believed to be genocide.
The Heard-Depp lawsuit, however, is as much about gender as it is about the stars’ smelly personal relationships. And therein lies the problem. In the aftermath of MeToo, the entire industry convulsed, first removing all vermin from the woodwork (and then some), then showing, often pompously, how sorry it was for it all, how she was now a feminist.
In typical Hollywood style, the 2018 Golden Globes saw women and men dressed in black to show how seriously they took MeToo. The male actors have ostentatiously apologized after being hit with a cascade of assault and harassment allegations, vowing they now see the error of their ways, never mean any harm and understand that women are too some people. It’s hard to reconcile that with the tone of support for Depp, among the legions of his fans, including celebrity fans.
It’s not that Hollywood has always been some sort of pure moral realm, full of people as pure in soul as they are in face. Far from there. But at least in the past, their inflated sense of self-importance, their thuggishness even, was the price paid for a parade of fantastic, landmark films. Now, hampered by revivalism and bureaucracy, there are fewer and fewer, forcing us to wonder if Tinsel Town is worth attending.