After years of controversy and carefully written statements, Johnny Depp was fired from the Fantastic beasts franchise. The beleaguered actor recently lost his defamation lawsuit against the national group’s newspapers over an article in a British tabloid The sun it called him a “woman beater” – and that, apparently, was all Warner Bros. needed. to finally cut ties.
Depp announced his departure on Friday – in a statement dripping with false martyrdom.
“In light of recent events, I would like to make the following brief statement,” the actor wrote. “First of all, I would like to thank everyone who offered me their support and loyalty. I have been moved and moved by your many messages of love and concern, especially in recent days. Second, I want to let you know that Warner Bros asked me to step down from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and that I have respected and accepted this request.
“Finally, I want to say this,” Depp concluded. “The surreal judgment of the UK court will not change my struggle to tell the truth and I confirm that I intend to appeal. My resolve remains firm and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and my career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thanks for the reading.”
The allegations to hear against Depp, as heartbreaking as they are, never guaranteed that he would suffer career consequences; Famous men accused of abuse traditionally have no problem continuing to thrive. And indeed, the creators behind Fantastic beasts spent years defending Depp’s involvement, making Warner’s sudden decision all the more surprising.
But now the real question becomes: Has Depp lost a job or his career?
On Monday, the UK High Court ruled against Depp in his defamation case, ruling on the basis of weeks of hearsay evidence, scatology warfare and allegedly abusive alter-egos who The sun was entitled to call Depp a “wife beater” in his 2018 article. As Depp noted in his statement, he has sworn to appeal the decision and he has another defamation lawsuit pending against Heard in 2018. Washington post editorial.
Depp’s cast has been a lightning rod of controversy for years; In 2017, Rowling and director David Yates defended the actor’s cast against a wave of backlash as Heard’s abuse allegations continued to unfold.
“Honestly, there’s a problem right now where a lot of people are being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and scary,” Yates said at the time. “With Johnny, it seems to me that there was a person who took a hit on him and asked for something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: he is full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation is out there doesn’t match the type of human I’m working with.
Rowling added, “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable with our original cast, but really happy that Johnny is playing a major character in the movies.”
Depp, meanwhile, claimed he had been falsely accused.
But obviously this week’s verdict was enough to sway Warner’s powers in a different direction – perhaps because at this point Rowling has become a controversial figure in her own right.
Until now, Fantastic beasts’ The upcoming third episode had two major PR issues: the abuse allegations against Depp and Rowling’s shameless embrace of transphobia. Ironically, Rowling framed her obsession with the issue as the result of her own experiences with domestic violence and sexual assault – making her earlier defenses of Depp all the more cynical and absurd.
At least with Depp out of the picture, Fantastic beasts 3 has only one reputational responsibility to fear. (While it’s reasonable to wonder how many fans will show up for this film after the fantastic failure that was Crimes of Grindelwald.)
The next step for Depp, however, might be a question for divination experts. Many knocked-down celebrity men have managed to stage big comebacks; Do you remember when Mel Gibson’s career looked like a pile of ashes? Still, Heard’s allegations against Depp have been among the most widely covered in recent years – so while it’s generally safe to assume that no one in Hollywood is ever really ‘canceled’, it is plausible to think that this could be the rare exile that remains. Does anyone have Professor Trelawney’s number?
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