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On the networks, Johnny Depp has already won his lawsuit thanks to the “stan culture”

The auditions are still in progress and Amber Heard has not yet had the opportunity to speak. On the Internet, however, the American actor Johnny Depp seems to have already won his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, which many supporters of the American actor describe as “liar” in many video extracts that are spreading on the TikTok social network.

On April 13, a few days after the start of an over-mediatized and live-streamed audience, the American media specialist in celebrities Gawker had 1.1 billion views for the hashtag #justiceforjohnnydepp. “In two weeks, those numbers have more than quadrupled. As of this article’s publication, #justiceforamberheard has 22 million views,” wrote the New York Times April 29.

USA Today for his part criticizes a lack of nuance while “we are not halfway through the trial yet” :

“Specialists in domestic violence remind us that this is a complex case. However, public opinion has apparently already decided who is innocent and who is guilty.”

Harassing fans

Live broadcast of the trial “doesn’t have much of a CNN live but more of an MTV Music Awards broadcast or content on Twitch”, highlighted Gawker. The event “has become an example of what happens when complex cases are approached through the prism of “stan culture” and social networks”, decipher it NYT. A contraction of “stalker” (“harasser”) and “fans”, “stan culture” designates the phenomenon of coordinated attacks by communities of vehement admirers against the detractors of their idol.

In 2018, in the columns of washington postAmber Heard introduced herself as “a public figure representative of domestic violence”, without naming her ex-husband. The latter subsequently filed a complaint, considering that as he was divorced in 2016 and subject to a restraining order procedure, the allusion concerning him was clear and could harm his “his reputation and his career”, traces the New York Times.

A defamation countersuit from the actress is also being considered. For his part, the 58-year-old man denies “having ever hit Mrs. Heard and claims that in their relationship she was the aggressor”. The court will speak only after the end of the testimony and the public is subject to an obligation of discretion. But, continues the New York Times :

“The rest of the world is not subject to this obligation.”

Sexism and revival of the aggressor profile

Profile of Johnny Depp’s supporters “transcends gender and sexuality”, continues Gawker. “On the one hand, he is this actor who expresses himself calmly, with a European side, on which the fans can plaster their memories of childhood. The film series Pirates of the Caribbean and the return of the Tim Burton film aesthetic are [d’ailleurs] all over TikTok. On the other, no one talks about his excessive alcohol consumption which has yet been proven, nor the violent text messages sent to Paul Bettany.

According to USA Today, which qualifies the trial as “public entertainment” imbued with “sensationalism”this support comes from a combination of factors:

“Johnny Depp’s star status, the absence of domestic violence specialists at trial and the fact that Heard has not yet been called to the stand”.

“The atmosphere of social networks is of an incredible brutality for Amber [Heard]”, confides the journalist friend of the actress Eve Barlow to the New York Times. According to her, many of the comments on TikTok and Twitter reflect “a misogynistic hatred”.

The trial nevertheless has the merit of exposing domestic violence from a new angle, explains Rachel Louise Snyder, author specializing in the subject. :

“We don’t usually associate victims with wealth. Nor the victims to men. And even less the aggressors to women. I am not saying that she is the author of the violence and that he is the victim. I’m just saying that this is an opportunity to review our received ideas on the subject”.

If this possibility should be taken into account,we have to wait and see what Amber Heard has to say”, maintains the president of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ruth Glenn, in USA Today.

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