Actor Johnny Depp's ongoing relationship with Hollywood has been up and down. From child star to middling indie actor, and then to superstardom with his role in Pirates of the Caribbean. But Depp's antics ranged from the eccentric to the dangerous. Drugs, alcohol, and allegations of spousal abuse.
After he split from ex-wife Amber Heard in 2017, she accused him of domestic violence. The actor has adamantly denied all the allegations, but he lost a civil suit with a newspaper where the primary argument was whether or not he was a "wife-beater."
Depp says these allegations and suits have caused him trouble getting work.
He told The Sunday Times in a new interview that he is being boycotted by Hollywood. Depp is primarily concerned with new projects, but he has a film called Minimata that MGM purchased and so far has no plan on releasing. Depp stars in the biopic as photojournalist Eugene Smith. Smith traveled to Minamata, Japan, in the 1970s and documented the effects of mercury poisoning on the community. He also exposed pollution from the Chisso chemical company.
Depp is worried that this story will be silenced. He said in the interview, “We looked these people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative, that the film would be respectful. I believe that we’ve kept our end of the bargain, but those who came in later should also maintain theirs.”
“Some films touch people,” Depp said. “And this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything… For Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years? … But, you know, I’m moving towards where I need to go to make all that… to bring things to light.”
Depp says the real boycott can't work because his fans are his real employers.
“They are all our employers," he said. "They buy tickets, merchandise. They made all of those studios rich, but they forgot that a long time ago, I certainly haven’t. I’m proud of these people, because of what they are trying to say, which is the truth. The truth they’re trying to get out since it doesn’t in more mainstream publications. It’s a long road that sometimes gets clunky. Sometimes just plain stupid. But they stayed on the ride with me and it’s for them I will fight. Always, to the end. Whatever it may be.”
Depp said a lot, but without settling his lawsuits and more rehabilitation in terms of his persona, it's safe to say Hollywood probably won't take any chances on casting him. The public backlash is too great, and there are lots of ethical reasons not to do it as well. I'm not sure if you can call it a boycott if your own actions are what keep people away.
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