We are all aware of the mass hoopla surrounding the Depp and Heard case, and to be honest, it’s too much.
While the world seemingly feels on fire with the continued war in Ukraine and Roe v. Wade under threat of being overturned, eyes remain glued, and minds remain set on the Depp and Heard case. I may be a chronic class-A Pirates of the Caribbean fan, but that doesn’t mean I weigh this case’s importance over more pressing matters.
Domestic violence, and violence in general, should never be a form of entertainment. Our digital age has caused many to be desensitized to violence, but when you mix brutality and celebrities, it turns into a whole whimsical production.
Historically, white individuals have benefited the most from our justice system, and with Depp and Heard’s reputations on the big screen proceeding them, their entire lawsuit has been blown out of proportion. I see fan edits of Johnny when he took the stand, I see edits of Amber, completely tearing apart everything she does.
I have my own opinion concerning this case, but I know the way the media and fans are going about it is over the line. I cannot stand this case’s mass attention when I know thousands never get to even hope for a fair trial or wait years for their day in court. Especially when it comes to domestic violence cases, now is not the time to be joking. Even if Depp takes a more comical route, possibly as a coping mechanism (but who am I to assume), we are not the jury nor the ones on trial, and we do not have the right to make jokes about a trial concerning domestic violence. No matter who you’re a “fan” of, it’s not an excuse to lack compassion and respect.
We may have heard audio clips, and have been told stories by both parties, but behind closed doors, we have no idea what their marriage was like, nor does anyone expect maybe their closest friends. What we see displayed now are small glimpses of an extremely complicated relationship and we shouldn’t view this trial as a trailer into their personal lives, even if it is being broadcasted as such because there are more important issues.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence, and cases rose during Covid. However, considering all those who have faced domestic violence, I become annoyed when I see celebrities’ own personal experiences get blown up all over the media. Even if you watch each second of the trial, or psychoanalyze both Depp and Heard’s every movement, you- along with everyone else- will never truly know what happened.
When everyone is gone, the acting stops, and the world isn’t watching, we have to accept that most celebrities we think we know so much about, are complete and utter strangers.
We truly know nothing about them, we only know what the rest of the world does, so why is it that everyone feels so entitled and defensive over two people who, maybe, are both at fault in some way.
I don’t want to point fingers or debate who is not guilty and guilty, rather I want us to consider how celebrities always seize the spotlight, even during times when the attention should be shining on someone, or something else. To this day, thousands of Indigenous women are still missing, while others who have been murdered lack justice, their perpetrators living free. Black women in the United States often are racially and sexually discriminated against in trial, leading to unfair sentences. The same can be said for countless other minorities and those oppressed under our patriarchal, sexist, and racist systems of “justice”.
The Depp and Heard case continues, and simultaneously, thousands die in Ukraine, and millions of women across the country are grappling with a dark reality that our rights were never ours, and may be stripped from our bodies and placed in the hands of white men to dictate our lives.
So, when you see the next trial clip on your Tik Tok feed or see complications on Youtube, maybe don’t watch more white people publicly fight over millions of dollars- we have seen enough. Because if anything, this is not a normal domestic violence case, and to say so is an insult to all of those who have had to suffer through the difficulties of trial, and to all of those who have been unfairly treated by the criminal and justice systems in this country.
The time for celebrities’ personal lives drama to grab more attention than real-world events has adjourned, and it’s time to start demanding justice for more than just #TeamJohnny and #TeamAmber. The public’s hyper-fixation of one domestic violence case will not bring rectitude to the rest. We need justice on a global scale -which is arguably impossible- but to stop paying more mind to celebrity issues than those of the rest of the humans of the world, is an excellent place to start.