Actor Johnny Depp is speaking out about "cancel culture" once again, amid his recent controversial legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp made the comments during a press conference at the San Sebastian Film Festival, preceeding his reception at the Donostia Awards. When asked about the effects of "cancel culture" and social media, Depp offered his most candid comments yet. This comes after his recent real-life legal drama, including the libel lawsuit he filed against British tabloid The Sun in 2018 over their coverage of allegations that he assaulted and abused Heard.
"It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air," Depp claimed. "It's so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe. It takes one sentence and there's no more ground, the carpet has been pulled. It's not just me that this has happened to, it's happened to a lot of people. This type of thing has happened to women, men. Sadly at a certain point they begin to think that it's normal. Or that it's them. When it's not."
"It doesn't matter if a judgement, per se, has taken some artistic license," Depp continued. "When there's an injustice, whether it's against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in - stand up, don't sit down. 'Cause they need you."
The lawsuit, which was over The Sun referring to Depp as a "wife-beater" in a 2018 article, led to a highly-publicized trial in 2020, before Depp lost both the initial suit and the subsequent appeal. Days after the verdict, Depp resigned from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and has since been replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
Depp previously spoke about the impact these controversies have had on his career in an interview with the Sunday Times, arguing that his recent film, the historical drama Minamata, has been "boycotted by Hollywood."
"We looked these people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative," Depp said in the interview. "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 continued. "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."