WHY JOHNNY BUT NOT TERRY?



 There were a lot of traumatic events happening in the world in the past month. Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s trial is one of them. If you’re preparing yourself to read a puff piece about either of the above-mentioned celebrities, then I’m sorry to disappoint. This article is not about the unnecessarily highly publicized trial, its proceedings, or ruling. This is about its effects and the double standards of the general public.

 

I’ve always thought that men admitting that they were a victim of abuse, or assault of any kind is brave. Especially since the public reactions are always mocking and cruel. However, I was puzzled by the reaction Depp collected online after telling his truth. On the surface, it appears to be extremely strange. However, with further digging the truth couldn’t be more simple.



Let’s talk about Terry Crews. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star bravely admitted back in 2017 that he was sexually assaulted by an executive, and his reason for not talking about it publicly is his fear of being ostracized or even jailed. The public reaction, even during the Metoo era, was disappointing. People, celebrities, and some publishing websites were cruelly mocking Crews for the incident. And the main demographic were overwhelmingly men. In this case, time does not heal all wounds. It doesn’t take more than a simple search on Twitter to see that the public opinion didn’t really shift this much since 2017. So when comparing this case with Depp’s, I started to notice some differences. Depp won a defamation case against his ex-wife because she allegedly caused Depp to be fired from multiple projects. And the reason is that she went public with the abuse case that she won against him in the UK. Backed up by his army of fans, an even bigger online bot army, and what appears to be paid ads by media outlets according to VICE, Depp did the impossible. He gained the male sympathy.

 

Men supporting Depp, despite my oblivious puzzlement, was actually a beautiful thing to witness. If it wasn’t fueled by misogyny. You see, the only notable difference I could spot between Crew’s and Depp’s case, despite Crews not having the color of skin desirable to gain some public empathy, was the alleged assaulter. Some men genuinely stood by Depp because they wanted to support someone who claimed to be a victim. But this article is not about them, this is about the tasteless memes, sarcastic coverage of the trial, and worst of all, public doxing made by men to mock not Just Heard, but any women who claimed a man was abusive towards her. This domestic violence-related trial was made into 24/7 live-streamed entertainment. Entertainment that caused one of the most brutal anti-feminist and aggressive misogyny sentiments I have ever seen online. Depp’s fans making endless TikTok and memes mocking Heard while she was sobbing on the stand recounting her abusive incidents with her ex, as proven by a court, is not the male solidarity we should applaud. And for the women joining in, this will not lead to the inclusion you were hoping for. Misogynist men hate women, even those who pander to them.


The damages from this trial are not just paid for by these rich celebrities. Women in real life are directly affected by it. If someone like Amber Heard, a rich, white, beautiful famous celebrity who documented her abuse and won in court against her alleged abuser was made a mockery of online, then women in real life don’t stand a chance. If people like Terry Crews and Johnny Depp, rich, handsome, and famous who also came out publicly to say they were victims were also mocked online, then men in real life don't stand a chance either. 


This trial reminded me again of something very obvious, how powerful men are. Imagine the changes we could do as a society if men came together to stand by every victim, not just the ones who played their favorite fictional characters. Imagine what good it would do if men didn’t judge each other for their traumas. Only time could tell the real impact this case would have in our lives. After all it seems like the damages from this trial are not just paid for by these rich celebrities. Women, especially are directly affected by it. If someone like Amber Heard, a rich, white, beautiful famous celebrity who documented her abuse and won in court against her abuser was made a mockery of online, then women in real life don’t stand a chance. For those of you reading this, whether you stood by Depp or Heard’s side. You should know that your voice matters. Ever since the Meetoo movement, we’ve seen a lot of men get accused of assault, yet we’ve seen their careers flourishing despite the accusations. Stand up for victims in your life, and give them the support that they will need. Because there’s nothing to gain from admitting you were assaulted, on the contrary, you have everything to lose. So next time you want to take sides and mock someone online, be careful that you’re not a victim of the algorithm yourself. 



 


 

 

 

 

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