Award-winning actor Johnny Depp took aim at cancel culture during a press event recently, claiming the progressive movement has gotten way "out of hand" and that "no one is safe." The actor also entreated listeners to "stand up" against "injustice" when loved ones are slandered.
Depp, who for the past two years has been embroiled in public controversy over domestic abuse allegations involving his ex-wife Amber Heard, spoke openly about his gripes with cancel culture this week while at a foreign film event, according to Deadline.
"It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgment based on what essentially amounts to polluted air," the actor told reporters ahead of his attendance at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
"It's so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe," he continued. "It takes one sentence and there's no more ground, the carpet has been pulled.
"It's not just me that this has happened to, it's happened to a lot of people," he added. "This type of thing has happened to women, men. Sadly at a certain point, they begin to think that it's normal. Or that it's them. When it's not."
Depp went on to say, "It doesn't matter if a judgment, per se, has taken some artistic license. When there's an injustice, whether it's against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in — stand up, don't sit down. 'Cause they need you."
He was in Spain at the film festival to receive a Donostia Award for career achievement.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor acknowledged that his presence might be offensive to some, but thanked the festival, its director Jose Luis Rebordinos, and the mayor of San Sebastian for "not buying what has been, for far too long, some notion of me that doesn't exist."
Last year, Depp lost a high-profile libel lawsuit against the publisher of U.K. tabloid, The Sun. In a 2018 article, the paper had referred to Depp as a "wife-beater," a phrase which the actor considered defamatory and fallacious. A London judge, however, sided against Depp, concluding that "the great majority" of Heard's claims of domestic abuse "could be proved to the civil standard."
The former couple still has a great deal of legal trouble to sort out, Deadline reported. Depp has a blockbuster $50 million lawsuit against Heard set for trial in the U.S. next year, while Heard has filed a $100 million counter-claim.
During the news conference, Depp also unleashed sharp criticism against the film industry, saying, "Hollywood is certainly not what it was."
"Large, large corporations take control of these things," he added. "As someone who takes part in the creation of cinema, how much more formula do we need from the likes of studios? How much more condescension do we need as audiences? I think that Hollywood has grotesquely underestimated the audience."