The conflict between Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard has been dragging on for a while now, with Depp losing the libel case he filed against Heard for calling him a “wife-beater”. Heard’s claims about Depp being a domestic abuser divided people on the internet, with some supporting the actor of Edward Scissorhands while others insisted that he is guilty.
Depp received backlash quite recently when it was announced that he would be the recipient of the Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Upon hearing the news, activists called for the immediate reversal of the decision because they felt that platforming Depp is equivalent to the glorification of a misogynistic criminal.
However, the director of the festival, José Luis Rebordinos, stood by the announcement and urged people to put their biases aside when judging an artist’s talent: “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.”
In a recent interview, Depp stated that he is being boycotted by Hollywood due to his legal battles with Heard. After losing his parts in projects like Fantastic Beasts, Depp believes that his public image is stopping his new project from being released in the United States. He told the Sunday Times: “Some films touch people… and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything… for Hollywood’s boycott of, erm, me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
Minamata stars Depp as the famous photojournalist W. Eugene Smith who became a global figure because of his photographic documentation in Life magazine. Although it premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival this year, an MGM executive said: “Minamata continues to be among future AIP releases and at this time, the film’s U.S. release date is TBA.”