Johnny Depp’s French-language movie Jeanne Du Barry opens the 2023 Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday
Amber Heard supporters are speaking out against the Cannes Film Festival for opening with a new Johnny Depp movie.
The annual French festival begins Tuesday with the premiere of Jeanne Du Barry, in which Depp, 59, plays King Louis XV opposite director Maïwenn. The actor is expected to attend the red carpet portion before the screening, plus a press conference about the film on Wednesday morning.
On social media, several pro-Heard fan accounts are using the hashtag #CannesYouNot to protest online about Depp’s inclusion in the major industry event.
Earlier this week, journalist Eve Barlow posted a message using the hashtag and added, “Cannes seem proud of their history supporting rapists and abusers,” and an infographic that read, “If you support Cannes, you support predators” and “Why does Cannes platform predators?” Heard’s sister Whitney “liked” the post on Instagram.
The person behind the Twitter page @LeaveHeardAlone, identified as Rebecca, spoke to Variety about why they are being outspoken online about Cannes.
Rebecca said, “The Depp v. Heard trial became the vehicle through which the backlash against the #MeToo movement went viral. Hollywood industries seem to be riding that backlash to return to the status quo. To open your festival with Johnny Depp? To be frank, it feels like a slap in the face.”
They added that the campaign is supposed to highlight the “larger issue of men accused of abuse being protected and insulated by the film industry.”
On Monday, Cannes Film Festival’s chief Thierry Fremaux addressed the decision to have Depp’s movie open the festival. He told reporters, according to Variety, “I don’t know about the image of Johnny Depp in the U.S. To tell you the truth, in my life, I only have one rule, it’s the freedom of thinking and the freedom of speech and acting within a legal framework.”
“If Johnny Depp had been banned from acting in a film or the film was banned, we wouldn’t be here talking about it. So we saw Maïwenn’s film and it could have been in competition. She would have been the eighth female director,” said Fremaux. “This [controversy] came up once the film was announced at Cannes because everybody knew Johnny had made a film in France … I don’t know why she chose him but it’s a question you should ask Maïwenn.”
“As for the rest, I’m the last person to be able to discuss all this,” he added. “If there’s one person in this world who didn’t find the least interest in this very publicized trial, it’s me. I don’t know what it’s about. I also care about Johnny Depp as an actor.”
In November, more than 140 organizations and individuals focused on women’s rights and domestic violence signed an open letter in support of Heard, 37, against “vilification,” “ongoing online harassment” and “unprecedented” vitriol. They warned that the June 1 verdict in the Virginia defamation trial could have “damaging consequences” for other survivors coming forward.
It was signed by Gloria Steinem and Ms. Magazine, Constance Wu, Allen v. Farrow director Amy Ziering, the National Women’s Law Center, The National Organization for Women, Women’s March Foundation, Women’s Equal Justice Project and more.
Depp and Heard reached a settlement in December; she’ll pay him $1 million that he said will be donated to charity. Heard explained in a lengthy statement at the time: “I have made no admission. This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward.”
Depp’s lawyers added in their own statement after the settlement news: “We are pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear throughout this process that his priority was about bringing the truth to light.”
Fans of Depp have launched social media campaigns against Heard as well. For example, an online petition requesting she be removed from the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has gained over 4.5 million signatures. She will return as Mera in the sequel out in December and was featured in a teaser trailer showcased at CinemaCon last month.