Today in why-are-we-even-surprised-this-sh*t-happens-any-more, Johnny Depp has been cast in J.K. Rowling’s new film franchise, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. It’s just another chapter in the glorious saga of White Guys Who Have Stood Accused Of Heinous Crimes In Hollywood And Lived To Have Thriving Careers. And yet in the wake of his controversial divorce from Amber Heard this year, in which Depp was accused of domestic violence, the casting has caused a stir in the wizarding world.
With the weight of a Dementor sucking the room of all joy, the casting announcement was met with distress from Harry Potter fans and those generally concerned with the way domestic violence and rich white men are treated in our progressive modern society. You can read some of the angry Tweets from fans of Harry Potter--as well as from fans of women--below:
What exactly transpired in the breakdown of Heard and Depp’s relationship is unclear. Heard eventually retracted her domestic violence charges against Depp, and their divorce was settled out of court. This, unfortunately, doesn’t paint a true picture of Depp’s culpability. Given the way Heard’s accounts were met when she voiced them--with pure victim blaming vitriol--any manner of motivation, unrelated to Depp’s innocence, might have influenced her in dropping the charges. Meanwhile, we’ve all seen the photos of the bruises on her face, and the video of Depp displaying terrifyingly aggressive behavior.
For anyone who remembers Harry Potter, you’ll remember the story of a boy who survived brutal domestic violence. With the Potter-verse so steeped in this history of its titular hero’s abuse, why then - when casting a new movie set in the same world - choose a man who stands accused of doing the same to his nearest and dearest?
Meanwhile, the folks over at Urban Outfitters thought it a great idea to sell a shirt with Depp’s face taking up the whole front of it. Now you too can get around pants-less, sexily wearing the face of an accused domestic abuser across your whole female body--and you only have to pay $39 to do it!
But really, what’s new? Depressingly, we’re faced with yet another scenario in which the society and culture around us accepts violence against women with unconditional support--especially when it’s done by “talented” white guys. Lest we forget these "allegations:" Sean Penn tied up Madonna and tortured her; Michael Fassbender pissed on his ex-girlfriend before beating her; Charlie Sheen has been violent towards just about every woman who's been unfortunate enough to get into his bed; Bill Murray stands accused of spousal abuse; Sean Connery thinks it’s not “that bad” to hit a woman. And that’s just a drop of salt in the ocean. But let’s keep cutting them big budget Hollywood checks. Let’s give them Oscars and accolades because how silly to ask them to answer for such trivial crimes. Let’s get t-shirts with all their smirking faces emblazoned across them, and stride around as we celebrate our handsome, violent, lovely, iconic men of Hollywood.
[Photo: Getty Images]