Warner Bros.’ decision to remove Johnny Depp from the Fantastic Beasts franchise has caused much controversy online, with many calling for him to be reinstated and for his ex-wife Amber Heard to be fired from the DCEU instead. While Depp’s recent UK libel case went against him, there’s still a lot of passionate support for the actor on social media. In fact, one Change.org petition to get Heard removed as Mera from Aquaman 2 has just hit a million signatures.
You’d think that would be enough to make WB sit up and pause, but a new report’s now claiming that the studio isn’t taking the backlash against Heard very seriously. Insider Mikey Sutton of Geekosity has quoted a reliable source who told him that WB’s waving away any petitions or backlash to their decision to keep her on for the DC sequel as nothing to worry about.
“Warner Bros. is not taking any of the Twitter, YouTube, and petition campaigns to have Heard removed seriously. An insider explained that, “They see it no differently than the boycott of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel film, which proved to be ineffective as it brought in over a billion to Disney. They believe it’s artificially inflated and most likely politically motivated. They don’t base their decisions on web chatter.”
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Whatever side of the Depp/Heard split you’re on, it has to be said that the former Pirates of the Caribbean star has produced some troubling evidence against his ex-wife and her own intense behavior during their marriage. When asked by Sutton if WB is worried about this at all, though, the source noted that they were able to overlook the scandal that erupted around Ezra Miller earlier this year, after a video circulated showing him choking a fan, and keep him on for The Flash, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that they would ignore similar alarming actions committed by Heard.
The actress herself recently confirmed that she’s due to start shooting Aquaman 2 next year and when asked about the online backlash, she slammed it as “paid rumors and paid petitions” that have “no basis in reality.” That seems to be what Warner Bros. thinks about it as well, especially as they’re now considering giving Amber Heard a spinoff for her character Mera.