Last week, we reported on a petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 on the grounds that she’s a domestic abuser. At the time, said petition had garnered 30,000 signatures and now, just a few days later, it’s about hit 40,000.
The reasoning behind all this is, on the surface, fairly strong. Amber Heard is accused by Johnny Depp of punching him repeatedly in the face and shattering his finger with a vodka bottle, necessitating a surgical reattachment.
The petition argues that:
“As Amber Heard is a known and proven domestic abuser, Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment should and must remove Heard from their Aquaman 2 film project. They must not ignore the suffering of Heard’s victims, and must not glamorize a domestic abuser. Men are victims of domestic abuse, just like women. This must be recognized, and action must be taken to prevent a known abuser from being celebrated within the entertainment industry.”
This is all true, though you could easily apply the same logic to Depp himself. It’s worth remembering that his allegations have been described as “meritless bullying” by Heard’s lawyers. That being said, this is very much a he said/she said situation, as Heard’s claiming that Depp beat her, with Depp countering that Heard “painted on” bruises to fool a court in order to grant a restraining order, with Heard counter-countering that Depp is so blitzed on drugs and alcohol that he simply isn’t a credible source right now.
Basically, it’s a big mess, and one that’s unlikely to be disentangled anytime soon (if ever). So, where does this petition fit in? Well, I have my suspicions that it may be a trolling exercise, as in the recent petition to get Brie Larson kicked off Captain Marvel 2. But while that was obviously done in bad faith, this is slightly more sophisticated. Whatever the motivations of the person behind this, if you take their argument at face value, then it stands to reason that Johnny Depp should also be fired from Fantastic Beasts 3 if Amber Heard is going to be removed from Aquaman 2.
And if you think that this is a slippery slope and it may mean that all people who abuse their partners should be kicked out of the movie business? Well, I’m cool with that.