This week, Johnny Depp attended the San Sebastian Film Festival to get the honorary Donostia Award, and during the press conference that followed, he railed against cancel culture. Deadline is reporting that the actor reminded the audience that “no one is safe” from the cancel culture and that people must “speak up” for those who are victims of “injustice.”
“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 said. “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.”
Depp continued, “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. Children have suffered from various types of unpleasantries. Sadly at a certain point they begin to think that it’s normal. Or that it’s them. When it’s not.”
The actor concluded, “It doesn’t matter if a judgement, per se, has taken some artistic license. 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 decision to recognize Depp with a lifetime achievement award in San Sebastian stirred controversy earlier this year. “This speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership, and transmits a terrible message to the public: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor,’” said the president of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media.
The director of the San Sebastian Film Festival, José Luis Rebordinos, justified the decision to honor Depp, saying: “In these present times, when lynching on social media is rife, we will always defend two basic principles which form part of our culture and of our body of laws: that of the presumption of innocence and that of the right to reintegration. According to the proven data which we have to hand, Johnny Depp has not been arrested, charged, nor convicted of any form of assault or violence against any woman. We repeat: He has not been charged by any authority in any jurisdiction, nor convicted of any form of violence against women.”
Last year, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star lost a libel case against The Sun, which called Depp a “wife beater” while chronicling his divorce from Amber Heard. Depp later claimed in August to The Sunday Times that he is being boycotted by Hollywood. Depp left Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts” franchise after the Sun verdict, and was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. The actor’s most recent feature, Andrew Levitas’ drama “Minimata,” is yet to be released. MGM, according to Levitas, was “burying” the picture because it was “was concerned about the possibility that the personal issues of an actor in the film could reflect negatively upon them.”
We reported last month that Depp’s lawsuit against Amber Hear is moving forward in the US.