In a December 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post, Amber Heard wrote about her life as an actress after she publicly accused Johnny Depp of domestic abuse, and you’ll probably be surprised to learn, it’s not been great. Granted, Heard never mentions Depp by name in the column, but it’s pretty obvious who she’s talking about, and the following passage just became all kinds of relevant. (Emphasis mine.)
Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted. A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies “Justice League” and “Aquaman.”
I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.
Imagine a powerful man as a ship, like the Titanic. That ship is a huge enterprise. When it strikes an iceberg, there are a lot of people on board desperate to patch up holes — not because they believe in or even care about the ship, but because their own fates depend on the enterprise.
You see, not only is Depp suing Heard for $50 million over her WaPo column — which spectacularly blew up in his face by dragging even more abuse allegations into the light — he’s also suing his former lawyer Jake Bloom for advising Depp to settle his divorce with Heard instead of fighting a messy battle in court. I know jacksh*t about lawyering, but that seems like pretty good advice!
But just like his vindictive suit against Heard, Depp’s attack on Bloom has already backfired by resurfacing the actor’s alleged attempts to get Heard blacklisted and fired from Aquaman, a film she was already cast in.
Sources familiar with the deposition requests say [Warner Bros. chairman Kevin] Tsujihara will be asked to testify under oath about whether or not he played a role in “blacklisting” Heard at Warner Bros. Depp, a star in the studio’s Fantastic Beasts franchise (he plays Grindelwald), is alleged to have personally lobbied Tsujihara to remove the actress from Aquaman and block her from getting other projects. (Heard ultimately did co-star in Aquaman, which was released in December.)
Ironically, Aquaman ended up being a billion-dollar success for Warner Bros. while the Fantastic Beasts franchise is definitely not doing Harry Potter numbers, so if there’s one person who’s potentially on the outs with the studio, it’s Depp. There’s already been whispers of firing him as Grindelwald, and I’m sure Warner Bros. is just thrilled to see its name continue to show up next to Depp’s (and its former chairman who resigned following accusations of sexual harassment).
Legal observers question why Waldman has advised Depp to bring suits against both Heard and Bloom, both of which only threaten to reignite Heard’s domestic violence claims. The suits also put Warner Bros. in the awkward position of having to answer renewed questions about Depp’s involvement in upcoming Fantastic Beasts films (three more films in the J.K. Rowling-created franchise are planned). Rowling, who was known to have a close relationship with Tsujihara, publicly backed Depp in the wake of backlash over the Heard domestic abuse claims, writing in a statement, “The filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
To be clear, the box-office success and/or subjective quality of Aquaman is irrelevant in the context of Depp’s alleged attempts at blacklisting Heard. Nothing justifies that level of abusive control. Nothing.
That said, Heard’s Mera is one of the best parts of Aquaman. Yes, the movie is yet another male-focused superhero film in a “sea” of many — I’m a horrible person — but its portrayal of Mera along with its bright, stupid-fun, balls-out tone is delightful. Mera is easily an equal to Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, and not once is she the damsel-in-distress. She’s just a straight-up dope female character that’s still seen way too rarely these days.
And yet Johnny Depp was going to deprive Amber Heard of that role because she didn’t want to get smacked around every time he was loaded? (Allegedly.) F*ck that, you creepy turd in a bolo-tie.
Header Image Source: Warner Bros.