MGM Accused Of Censorship After Burying Johnny Depp’s Latest Movie

Johnny Depp Minamata

By most accounts, Minamata is a pretty good movie. It’s a dramatization of the story of real-life photojournalist W. Eugene Smith, who in 1971 was dispatched to the Japanese fishing village of Minamata to chronicle the impact of mercury poisoning by the Chisso Chemical Company.

What resulted was a shocking series of photographs that exposed the crime to the world, despite the company trying to block Smith at every turn. Ordinarily, this would be classic Oscar bait: a sober prestige picture about corporate greed with a heavyweight actor at the helm.

But, unfortunately for Minamata, that heavyweight actor is Johnny Depp. Depp’s reputation has crumbled over the last few years, particularly after the UK High Court ruled that it wasn’t libelous to call him a “wife-beater”, promptly followed by him losing his appeal against the decision.

Minamata was soon removed from festival schedules and director Andrew Levitas says MGM went out of their way to “bury” the movie in the US. Here’s his letter to the studio:

‘In re-exposing their pain in the sharing of their story, this long marginalised community hoped for only one thing – to lift history from the shadows so that other innocents would never be afflicted as they have… and it seemed in that moment, with MGM’s partnership, a decades-long wish was finally coming true. Now, imagine the devastation when they learned this past week, that despite an already successful global roll out, MGM had decided to “bury the film” (acquisitions head Mr. Sam Wollman’s words) because MGM was concerned about the possibility that the personal issues of an actor in the film could reflect negatively upon them and that from MGM’s perspective the victims and their families were secondary to this.”

Australian photojournalist Stephen Dupont feels it’s particularly insulting that this story won’t get the audience it deserves, saying that he enjoyed the movie, that the pain of the real-life victims of the poisoning has been ignored, and that MGM is engaged in censorship:

‘MGM is not just punishing Depp but everyone else, the other actors, the director, the cinematographer, writers, all those involved. Even if the allegations were true, I wouldn’t change my opinion. With Depp what we’re talking about is a marriage breakdown, something that lots of people go through all around the world, the only difference is that they’re not celebrities. It’s a sad state of censorship in a far too critical world where, god forbid, if you say or do anything the wrong way, or make a mistake, and you’re crucified every which way. Let’s get these things into perspective.’

It’s a fair point, though in my eyes there’s a difference between saying something “the wrong way” and beating the crap out of your wife.

Anyway, there’s a chance Minamata might one day get its moment in the spotlight. Depp is pinning his hopes on a titanic clash with ex-wife Amber Heard in 2022. Depp is suing Heard for $50M over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote about her experience as a victim of domestic violence. She’s filed a $100 million counterclaim, also alleging defamation and that Johnny was responsible for a social media effort to tarnish her career by getting her booted off Aquaman 2.

Perhaps if Depp is vindicated in a domestic court he can begin rebuilding his reputation and Minamata will be reappraised by audiences. Though, honestly, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much.

Comments (23)

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  1. Matteosays:

    As if Johnny isn’t a victim as well in this relationship. Amber Heard is a toxic woman, and it isn’t fair Johnny’s career is the only one that suffer from it. In fact, neither careers should suffer, as this is a private issue as the Dupont wisely claims.

    1. Wesley Gibsonsays:

      Johnny’s career was fine until he shot himself in the foot with his unjustified lawsuit against The Sun. Depp was making millions of dollars shooting the new Fantastic Beasts movie. Then he decided he wanted to try and interfere with the free speech of the press. He filed a dishonest lawsuit against The Sun to try and silence their criticisms of him. Unfortunately for Depp, his lawsuit backfired when the judge ruled that The Sun was jusitified in their claims because all the evidence proved that Depp, DID, in fact, beat his wife. That’s when Depp has his career ruined and lost the Fantastic Beasts role.

      I’m curious why you want Amber Heard’s career ruined. Are you an advocate of using cancel culture to ruin someone’s career without giving them their day in court?

      1. GuitGirlsays:

        There you go again! Shot himself in the foot? No, unlike Turd he fights it out in court instead of getting on her internet soapbox and starting a media circus with her sucker-punch video of him taking out his frustration with a woman who sits there and baits him, on the kitchen furniture and resorting to subliminal messages by simply saying he hit her then builds up her photographs which are debunked online which will be proven in a Court of Law in the US unlike the UK’s gossip paper “the black hole” was their prize. The Turd was not the defendant, genius, so once again you have NOTHING!

      2. Shelsays:

        I know I said I was done, but Wes c’mon, you know all Matteo is trying to say is what’s fair is fair. Mr. Depp has every right to request a hearing if he feels he was treated unfairly. If the court BELIEVED he didn’t have a case or his request was UNJUSTIFIED, it had every opportunity to deny his request for a hearing. Obviously they felt he had a justified reason to request the hearing as it was granted and tried for TWO WEEKS! Or was the court being corrupt by allowing his hearing and charging him court costs over $800,000? What court, in the entire world, costs that much??? Aren’t the courts funded by tax dollars? I’ve never been to the UK, maybe things run differently there. It still comes down to bad business if the court is going to allow unjustified hearings.
        Maybe you should speak to real life abuse victims before speaking out for an actress using her story TWO YEARS after her supposed accusations occurred. Lot of time on her hands to fill in the details. God, I love details. They are so easy to pick a part when something doesn’t make sense, somebody’s lying. Even if they are both at fault of something this was a private, personal relationship that was thrown so far out of proportion, and used by colleagues to gossip about a coworker and use it to destroy his career. Which is the worst of the Evis, hers or his? She walked away with more than she came with. He is losing everything.

      3. Todosays:

        She is literally a psychopathic abuser and you call it “cancel culture” that we want her behind bars? Shame on you bud.

  2. Matteosays:

    Deleting my comment just because you disagree? It didn’t even have any profanity or something like that. Great job guys, you must be proud journalists and advocates of free speech. Though I suppose you will delete this comment as well, so have a great day I guess.

    1. Wesley Gibsonsays:

      It’s pretty hilarious how you’re whining about your “free speech” being infringed considering that you’re trying to cancel Amber Heard for private comments she made on an audio recording.

      1. GuitGirlsays:

        Ha! Turd the liar! Funny stuff!

      2. TNTonICEsays:

        Simp. Private comments? She was sworn in legally. You have upped your dose of Copium I see. At least we won’t be subjected to your annoying gifs. C’mon Wussly, start screaming “Incels” so everyone can see your true lunacy!

      3. Todosays:

        Go and merry Turd already, you obviously think she’s an amazing human. Go listen to the tapes of her admitting to abusing Depp. You’re part of the problem of false accusations, you need to stop believing without proven evidence.

  3. Taylorsays:

    Beating the crap out of his wife? I think you meant “getting the crap beat out of him *by his wife” We all heard the phone calls and one Amber Heard is crazy, why this article chose to “bury” that is beyond me.

    1. Wesley Gibsonsays:

      Depp beat his wife on multiple occasions and it was proven in a COURT OF LAW. You’re both a liar and a wifebeating apologist.

      1. GuitGirlsays:

        No it wasn’t Turd SUCKA! Everybody in the world but you knows it was a Kanagaroo Court. NOTHING again!

      2. Todosays:

        How stupid are you? Seriously?? The UK judge had direct connections to The Sun newspapers dummy, EDUCATE before you believe or post this trash. I hate that people like you exist.

      3. Shelsays:

        He doesn’t want to marry her. He wants the power Mr. Depp has in the industry. He is using her to get it.

    2. Todosays:

      Exactly, this article and journalist is just like the rest of the idiots that somehow get paid to write ****

  4. Johnny is innocentsays:

    “It’s a fair point, though in my eyes there’s a difference between saying something “the wrong way” and beating the crap out of your wife.”
    The difference here is that he did not beat the crap out of his wife.

    1. Todosays:

      Yup, this journalist is another believe all women without evidence dummy.

  5. TNTonICEsays:

    Unfortunately for Minamata? Sure, keep shilling for a liar! The film could NOT have the power and definition it has without Depp’s performance.

  6. Pump Kingsays:

    “Beating the crap out of your wife?” In YOUR opinion. So let’s just ignore she started the fights. Then we could say she beat the crap out of him. He’s not allowed to defend himself? DIRTY FILTHY “REPORTING” WITH NO MORE PROOF THAN A CORRUPT UK COURT! They were not required to prove she was half the problem, they ignored evidence in favor of testimony from only her family and friends. The writer’s desperation with the new evidence has got this outlet frothing!

  7. Raoulsays:

    Who wrote this drivel? Are you an actual journalist? You don’t seem to have even tried to seek the truth. This article is a regurgitated farce, oozing foul smelling bias. Do you not want to advance in your journalism career? Cowering to this conformed journalism makes you part of the Cancel Culture. Stand up man! Where is your spine?

  8. Todosays:

    He better win the Virginia case. He is so blindingly innocent and she is the complete opposite. I hope she gets her time behind bars. Shame on this trash article for pretending Depp isn’t innocent. Why does the media hate men.

    1. Pump Kingsays:

      All they really love is clickbait.

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