The defamation trial between Amber Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp is wrapping up, but many who watched the trial are still contending with the fairly shocking frenzy surrounding its coverage. Specifically, despite presented evidence that Depp was abusive towards Heard during their marriage, much of the negative coverage both in media and on social media has centered on Heard.
Amber Heard’s Demonization During Defamation Trial
Taking a look at the reaction to the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp defamation trial on social media, you might be surprised at how much vitriol has been tossed Heard’s way. Both Depp and Heard have accused the other party of abuse and their legal teams have presented evidence to support those claims. From all available evidence, it would appear that abuse was definitely present in that relationship.
Despite this credible evidence that she was at the very least a victim of abuse, many online have focused their most vitriolic, hate-filled comments and jokes on Heard. Across social media, disturbing images have popped up using photos of Heard crying during the trial. One image featured a trash can with Heard’s crying face taped to it, clearly implying that she’s “trash.”
Some have taken to setting up tip jars bearing either Heard or Depp’s names much the same way people did when Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston and began dating Angelina Jolie. Back then, people claimed either Team Aniston or Team Jolie, but using this tactic during a case about domestic abuse is particularly crass.
Depp has certainly made credible allegations of abuse against Heard, but her own allegations against Depp are equally credible, so why is it that so much anger and disgust is directed against her?
Johnny Depp’s Fame Tipping The Scale?
Two factors can not be ignored: Depp’s level of superstardom and Heard’s relative anonymity, as well as the fact that Heard is a woman. It feels ridiculously obvious to state that Johnny Depp is one of the most famous actors of our lifetime while Heard’s most famous credit to date is Aquaman, which was released back in 2018. Though they share the same profession, the level of notoriety each possesses are on such different levels that they might as well be in different stratospheres.
It also can’t be denied that Heard’s identity as a woman has played a role in the sheer amount of nastiness sent her way. It’s almost taken for granted that women are frequent targets of online harassment and when it comes to high-profile cases, that trend continues. Heard has already been subjected to a blatant misinformation campaign, including baseless and absurd claims that she snorted cocaine while on the witness stand, while Depp’s fans have made “fancams” of him showcasing his “wittiness” throughout the trial.
It’s disheartening, to say the least, to see people trivializing this case and demonizing Heard seemingly only because they are fans of Depp. The case has yet to be decided as of publishing time, but it’s already clear who the guilty parties are: those who have gone out of their way to not only pass judgment but to demean them.