Is Johnny Depp’s Career Over? I Doubt It

The actor is the latest in a long line of famous men accused of violence.

Johnny Depp

by grazia |
Published on

Johnny Depp has lost his legal battle over the label ‘wife-beater’ with a High Court judge finding it to be substantially true. The actor launched a libel suit against The Sun after they used the term in an article published in 2018, and he has lost. Fans of Johnny have swamped social media and the comments sections of websites, claiming his innocence, while Depp continues to strongly deny the allegations of violence against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Pundits and columnists say that his career is over. That his role in the next Fantastic Beasts film is now in doubt. That he may never work again. Don't make me laugh.

When did a confirmed act of violence ever rule a man out of professional success? Last week saw the death of Sean Connery, an undeniable screen legend. The original Bond had an amazing career in films like The Untouchables, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Marnie, The Rock. He was a fantastic actor whose charisma, raw sexual energy and gorgeous Scottish brogue made him a national treasure. He also condoned violence against women.

In 1965, he told Playboy that 'I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman - although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man. An open-handed slap is justified if all other alternatives fail.' In 1987, he stated 'I haven’t changed my opinion.' In recent years, he expressed regret for expressing such a sentiment - at least twice - but the point stands: his career was not affected in the slightest by his on-the-record and repeated statements that he approved of hitting women. He appeared in a multitude of hit films alongside his fellow Hollywood stars, many of whom paid kind tributes following the news of his passing. I am not denying his talent, but it speaks volumes that he continued to work after doubling down on such comments.

Chris Brown has been accused of violence on several occasions. Most infamously during an incident with his then girlfriend, Rihanna. The police report stated that she 'turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his righthand while steering the vehicle with his left hand.' He received a battery charge and has been plagued with other allegations of violence in the decade since. He continues to enjoy enormous success as a singer, continues to release music, continues to tour. Mark Wahlberg was convicted of beating a middle-aged man in 1988. In 2010, Mel Gibson pleaded no contest to a charge of hitting his then-wife, Oksana Grigorieva. There are plenty more names. Plenty more men whose careers were far from over despite a court of law finding them guilty of violence. And the list will never stop growing.

I predict that Johnny Depp will still appear in the next Fantastic Beasts film. I predict that he will be absent from the big screen for a short period of time, perhaps a year, and will then return via small roles in indie pictures, eventually finding success once again in big budget blockbusters. I predict a major profile in a glossy monthly - GQ, maybe - in which he bares his soul and insists on his innocence. The headline - 'Here's Johnny', 'Johnny Laid Bare', 'Johnny: In His Own Words' - will not claim his innocence but instead suggest that his voice should be heard. He will have another Oscar nomination by 2025. He will win one by 2030. The woman forced to hand him his prize will do so with a stony face - much like Brie Larson did when presenting Casey Affleck with his trophy after he was accused of sexual harassment - claims he has denied - and she will be deemed brave for doing so.

I hope I'm wrong. Believe me, I wish that men who are proven to have been violent against others were not forgiven within months and allowed to return to their pedestals. But time and time again, it's clear that violence is not a barrier to a man's success. Johnny Depp's career isn't over. Mark my words, he'll be back on the red carpet before you know it.

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