SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain – Taking center stage at a prestigious Spanish film festival to receive a career award, actor Johnny Depp has presented himself as a victim of the “culture of cancellation” which has he said, has spread in the movie industry.
Depp was responding to questions from reporters at the San Sebastian International Film Festival on Wednesday about losing favor with Hollywood for new roles since his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, made public allegations of domestic violence in against him.
Last year, a British judge ruled that the allegations were “essentially correct”.
“It’s a very complex situation, this culture of cancellation, or this instant rush to judgment based essentially on what amounts to polluted air,” replied the 58-year-old actor.
“It’s gotten so out of hand that I can assure you no one is safe. None of you, as long as somebody’s willing to say something. “
Filmmakers and other groups had criticized the organizer’s decision to honor Depp with the Donostia Prize, the festival’s highest honor, saying it tarnished the image of the event and sent the wrong message to victims of gender-based violence .
Last year Depp lost a defamation case against a UK newspaper that accused him of domestic violence, with the judge in the case ruled the allegations were “essentially correct”. In March, a UK court denied Depp leave to appeal the ruling he assaulted his ex-wife, Amber Heard, saying his attempt to overturn the ruling had “no real prospect of success. “.
Depp is also suing Heard for $ 50 million in Virginia for a Washington Post editorial essay she wrote on domestic violence. The trial in this case was recently postponed until April 2022.
The Spanish Association of Women Directors and Audiovisual Media, which has close ties to the festival, said the prizes should not be awarded solely on the basis of professional or artistic achievement.
“What is the message that remains when men denounced for gender-based violence are applauded, photographed on red carpets, surrounded by die-hard fans? .
The actor, who played famed Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and lead roles in “Edward Scissorhands” and “Sleepy Hollow,” spoke to reporters hours before the awards gala. Controversy emerged despite the festival’s request to limit media questions to Depp’s career. A press conference host blocked a question from a reporter about criticism of CIMA.
“It takes a sentence and then there’s no more ground, the carpet has been drawn,” Depp said without mentioning Heard or the libel cases.
“It wasn’t just me that it happened. It has happened to a lot of people: women, men, children have suffered from various types of inconvenience which unfortunately at a certain point they begin to think that it is normal, that it is them. This is not the case, ”he said.
The actor also spoke about how the coronavirus pandemic has caused more people to watch movies on screens at home rather than going to the cinema, which has closed during closings.
“Most of the world said, ‘You know, it’s not bad. We can sit down and watch this thing at home. We can cook popcorn, as opposed to the idea of a guy making $ 700 a week and wanting to take his wife and kids to dinner and see a movie on the weekends, which is a $ 200 offer. . I think the Hollywood movie machine has a few design flaws that they just realized. “
“I’m glad I saw it coming, personally,” he added.
“The grudge matches, the pandemonium and the chaos of the streaming movie release… It’s all about ‘No matter what, I’m going to have mine.’” The actor said. “That’s where these people come from. They realize they’re just as disposable as I am. Some even more so.
French actress Marion Cotillard also received a Donostia Award last Friday, the opening day of the festival.
Aritz Parra in Madrid contributed to this report.