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The Hollywood Insider Johnny Depp, Hollywood History

Photo: Johnny Depp/Tania Volobueva/Shutterstock

Johnny Depp is an American actor, producer, and musician, well known by families across the world for his eccentric behavior and widely successful movies. His most iconic of roles include his recurring protagonist in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’Edward Scissorhands,’ and other earlier films of the late 1900s. 

Painful History Between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard 

While having battled controversy the past few years, nothing has been quite as invasive as the ongoing coverage of his fight with ex-wife, Amber Heard. Their tumultuous relationship included a lot of back and forth allegations where she accused Depp of being a horrible partner to which he’s responded with the allegation that Heard abused him throughout their relationship. Proof has been surfaced with her admitting to physically abusing Depp and resulted in handfuls of lawsuits between the two. 

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He lost the libel case against The Sun, a British tabloid that referred to him as a ‘wife beater’ Depp found himself also losing jobs and credibility in Hollywood. MGM reported that the Andrew-Levitas-directed project he was in has been shelved and that he was forced to leave the Warner Bros production of the Fantastic Beasts franchise after the case as well. 

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Hollywood is ‘Boycotting’ Depp 

With his newest film, ‘Minamata,’ also being blocklisted from release, Depp feels like Hollywood is boycotting him and using various techniques of media manipulation and algorithms to prevent him from gaining any modicum of success. He says that his fall from the industry has been, “absurdity of media mathematics.”

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Depp discussed the “surreal five years” he has experienced amid his falling-out with the Hollywood community.

Depp’s role in ‘Minamata,’ is as W Eugene Smith, American photojournalists whos trying to use his photography to show how mercury poisoning is affecting the coastal communities of 1970 Japan. He said he promised despite all the controversy, that this movie would be good and impactful but that did little to assuage the hatred he was facing.

He said he, “looked those people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative. That the film would be respectful. I believe that we’ve kept our end of the bargain, but those who came in later should also maintain theirs.”

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Depp’s Response to Growing Hate and Complications 

He isn’t oblivious of the animosity growing around his name and standing in Hollywood, speaking out and saying that, “Some films touch people and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything … for Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”

Fortunately, Depp is not without supporters and has lots of people who still value his spot in the industry. San Sebastian and Karlovy Fan Festivals decided that they would still honor the controversial star and reinforced their support for him despite the influx of hate and criticism they received for that decision. San Sebastian even made an announcement saying that he would be honored to give Depp the Donostia Award, which is a lifetime achievement honor for actors who have made lifelong important contributions to the film industry. 

Supporting Costars from Pirates and Fantastic Beasts Franchise 

Costars from his iconic time during the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films were also unafraid to show their support and vouch for his character and status. Greg Ellis, who played Lieutenant Commander Theodore Groves in the three Pirates films, ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’ (2003), ‘At World’s End’ (2007), and ‘On Stranger Tides’ (2011),  spoke directly to Express about his opinions. 

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In his new book, Ellis discusses the Cartel of Family Law charts and the very public US divorce of Heard and Depp. he discusses the court experience and Depp even provides the introduction for the book. 

Ellis’s Explicit Support of Costar and Friend, Depp 

He even explicitly said that he will continue to show his support no matter what: “… I have been and will continue to be vocal. Many people have mischaracterized him.” His distaste for the media and entertainment continues also expands beyond Depp and he says that actors should not have to be in constant fear about what lies or mischaracterizations the media is going to spread. 


“Part of it is the fear of media […] Whether it be broadcast, whether it be movie studios, whether it be publishing, there is a fear that the perception of someone is negative, so they don’t want to be associated with that.”

He even commented on the release of Depp from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, saying he finds it ironic that despite the audience’s overall respect, love, and reverence of Depp, he was so easily cut from the film. If people have nothing but good things to say about him most of the time then his forcible removal should not have occurred. Ellis also offered his commentary when it came to the Fantastic Beasts franchise and Depp’s untimely demise from it. 

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What Now For Johnny Depp? 

These issues with Heard and the industry began in 2016, only one year after the pair got married. Depp has had as mentioned above, the libel trial with UK publication, ‘The Sun’ and the parent company, News Group Newspapers. But he lost the case and any appeal he had in court which ruled in favor of the tabloid. 

Now, he awaits 2022 where he will have to return to court with Heard in his pursuit to sue Heard. His reasons are for defamation, bolstered by the published opinion piece she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, describing her experience with physical abuse in the relationship. 

It’s unclear whether Disney will wait that long to hear the decision and act accordingly when it comes to rehiring him. But with so much left to be seen, nothing can be decided. Fans who want him to be rehired and given his status again, have started the hashtag, #JusticeForJohnnyDepp. They were propelled by bodycam footage released that contradicted what Heard had originally testified about the alleged assault. She was then probed by the LAPD and the case thickened.  

Will Depp Return as Jack Sparrow? 

While Depp’s time as Jack Sparrow may come to an end, Ellis and all his fans are crossing their fingers that they’ll get to see their favorite back on the big screens soon. “Do I think he’s going to come back? Yes. To what degree, I’m not sure.”

By Mireille Karadanaian

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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