When it was announced that Johnny Depp was set to receive the Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, there was a significant public backlash. Many people criticised the film festival for providing a platform to an actor who is accused of sexual abuse while others rallied to the support of Depp by claiming that it was Heard who was in the wrong.
The festival’s director, José Luis Rebordinos, felt the need to explain the decision regarding Depp’s win due to the controversy generated by his legal conflicts with Amber Heard: “The role of a film festival is not to judge the conduct of members of the film industry,” he said. “The role of a film festival is to select the most relevant and interesting films of the year and to extend recognition to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the art of film.”
Depp responded to the backlash, claiming that he was a victim of the politics of cancel culture: “It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air. 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.”
A two-part documentary series called Johnny Vs. Amber is now in the works which will explore their relationship. Producer Nick Hornby said: “Through the tapes, home videos and text messages shown in court, these films give viewers a rare and important insight into a marriage that went tragically wrong, and to better understand the hugely important issue of domestic violence.”
The series will play on Discovery+ whose VP Charlotte Reid added: “The story of what happened between Johnny and Amber continues to be hugely divisive, between fans and the public at large. We set out to make a documentary that would explore the story from each of their perspectives, so the viewer can go beyond the headlines, understand who they are, and decide who they should believe in this complex human story.”
Watch the trailer for the new Johnny Depp film City of Lies below.