The recipient of various accolades Johnny Depp presented himself as a victim of “cancel culture” in the San Sebastian Film Festival before he received, Donostia Award, an honourary annual award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the film world. 

While addressing questions by reporters in the Spanish film festival, Depp admitted that he had lost Hollywood’s favour for new roles ever since his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, publicly accused him of domestic violence.

The 58-year-old actor said, “It’s a very complex situation, this cancel-culture, or this instant rush to judgment based on essentially what amounts to polluted air.”

“It’s got so far out of hand that I can assure you, no one is safe. Not one of you, so long as someone is willing to say one thing.” He added.

Depp said, “It takes one sentence, then there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled.” 

The actor, who played the iconic role of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, said, “It’s not just me that it’s happened to a lot of people: women, men, children have suffered from various types of unpleasantries that sadly at a certain point they begin to think it’s normal, that it’s them. It’s not.” 

When asked about his views of the US Hollywood industry, Depp answered that “Hollywood is certainly not what it was.”

The actor said, “The grudge matches, the pandemonium, and chaos of cinematic release to streaming… It is a case of, ‘No matter what, I’m going to get mine.” 

“That’s where these people are coming from. They realize they are just as disposable as I am. Some even more,” added the leading actor of Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow.

Last year, Depp lost a libel case against a British newspaper that accused him of domestic violence, with the judge on the case ruling the allegations were “substantially correct.” 

In March, a British court refused Depp permission to appeal the ruling that he assaulted his former wife, Amber Heard, saying his attempt to overturn the decision had “no real prospect of success.”

Female filmmakers and other groups had criticized the organizer’s decision to distinguish Depp with the Donostia Award, the festival’s highest honour, saying that it demeaned the event’s image by delivering the wrong message to victims of gender violence.

Depp is also suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Post opinion essay that she wrote about domestic violence. The trial, in that case, was recently delayed until April 2022.

Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, which has close links to the festival, said that awards should not be granted based only on professional or artistic achievements.

in a Twitter thread, the association of female cinematographers and audiovisual professionals CIMA acknowledged the complexity of the issue before criticizing the move. The tweets said, “What is the message that remains when men denounced for sexist violence are applauded, photographed on red carpets, surrounded by unconditional fans?”

The San Sebastian International Film Festival held in northern Spain takes place September 17-25 this year.


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