Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Pirate's Life No More

By Siddharth Shiva
In a few weeks, there will be a new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie coming out. It will have Johnny Depp in it. Depp was one of my favorite actors up until he turned out to be a remorseless, wifebeating piece of shit. 

It pains me to say this, because Pirates Of The Caribbean is my second favorite movie franchise (after Lord Of The Rings, which will always rule them all), but I will not be seeing this movie in theaters. We have to stop turning a blind eye to the kind of crap that our heroes pull; otherwise we would be no different from the Vijay fans we love to mock, for swallowing creepy, stalkery plot lines. This is worse, maybe; because the stuff he did is real, and we cannot allow this industry, or any industry, to get away with allowing this kind of abuse.

It must have taken a ridiculous amount of courage for Amber Heard to have done what she did; she took a stand against one of Hollywood's most beloved and powerful actors. The backlash to her accusations were (and are) wild. When you're reading the following passages, imagine that Heard isn't a famous actress; instead, she's just an ordinary person. Imagine if somebody you knew were dragged through the court of public opinion the way she was. 

People first accused her of lying, and of faking her injuries. Then a video of what he was doing found its way online. 

People accused her of baiting him. How messed up is that? How is that a justification for violence (aside from the fact that she was doing nothing to bait him in the video)?

People brought up the fact that Heard herself had been arrested for Domestic Violence several years ago; but her then girlfriend (Heard is bisexual) dismissed that case as an instance of homophobia, and defended Heard's character. 

Then people accused her for doing it for the money and attention. She donated every single penny from the settlement to charity; and she waived spousal support from the divorce. The only attention she got? Victim-blaming nonsense.

Several times she released statements trying to protect Depp and his career from the fallout of the divorce and the abuse coming to light. Depp did absolutely nothing to clarify the victim blaming crap. To have to put out a joint statement like they did in the end is testament to the power that a person like Johnny Depp holds in the film industry. 

There's more to the story; it's a long and complicated one. But that doesn't matter, it has only one victim of violence. 

C'mon, Johnny. Get your shit together. I admired you for the longest time.  With your, going to children's hospitals as Jack, and slurring at Award speeches, and playing live with Marilyn Manson. That was all so cool. This shit is not. Seriously, get your shit together. You set an example to not just your children, but to a whole world of children. 

I really hope that Aquaman is a fantastic movie, and Heard is great as Mera, so that it can replace Pirates as my second favorite film franchise; and become my new favorite franchise that heavily involves the Ocean. 

I will not be watching Pirates (or any other Johnny Depp movie) in the theater. It would take Depp owning what he'd done, clearing Heard's name, and taking public action against domestic violence (raising awareness; contributing to charities in meaningful ways) for me to even consider sending any money his way. I urge anybody who feels strongly that abusive people shouldn’t get away with the stuff they pull, to not go and see this movie, or any of his movies in the theater.