In Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard Fight, Misogyny Is Winning Social Media

The trial of Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard has become an online cesspit. We dug a little deeper into Twitter and Instagram.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are embroiled in a heated defamation trial that started in 2016. Depp and Heard were married for 15 months before they filed for divorce. The divorce itself was a messy affair, with multiple text messages and audio clips of private conversations between the former couple getting leaked to the media.

In 2018, Amber Heard wrote an Op-ed for Washington Post, recounting her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse. She did not name an aggressor in the article. Soon after, Depp filed a defamation suit against Amber for $50 million, with his lawyers arguing that the article referred to their client and the allegations damaged his reputation and career. Amber filed a countersuit for $100 million, saying Depp defamed her by calling her suit false. The Cut details the entire series of events leading up to the defamation case.

The case between the two has divided millions across social media. But one thing stands out: The anti-Heard sentiment is palpable.

What's new?

Last week, #JusticeForJohnnyDepp and #AmberTurd started trending as clips and tweets of fresh hearings in court started surfacing on social media platforms. After Heard gave her testimony last week, Depp's attorneys cross questioned her in front of the jury last week.

The polar opposite hashtags represent the majority public sentiments over the case. We decided to dig a little deeper and see what each hashtag contains, on Twitter and Instagram.

Instagram

#JusticeForJohnnyDepp - 347,000 posts

In one of the videos that is viral, Depp's lawyer Camille Vasquez questioned Heard about a charitable donation she had pledged from her divorce settlement. Vasquez is seen objecting to every statement made by Heard's lawyer, all the while rolling her eyes. A sign perceived as Vasquez's legal superiority by the public.

Depp's lawyer has become the face of the case this week as her cross-examination seemingly obliterated Heard on the stand.

All through the video, Depp is seen smirking.

While it is difficult to go through each of these posts, accumulated over 3 weeks, it isn't as difficult to gauge the extent of support and sympathy received by Johnny at the moment. And not for Amber Heard.

Amber Heard's expert Ron Schnell told the court that #AmberTurd is a real Hashtag on social media. He said that there were over a million hashtags against Amber heard, between 2020-2021. In an effort to narrow down the four most popular hashtags, Schenll said #JusticeForJohnnyDepp topped the list. Derogatory hashtags like #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser, #AmberTurd and #WeJustDon'tLikeYou were trending at the same time.

At the time of writing this, #AmberTurd has garnered 15,800 posts.

What's this #AmberTurd about?

The hashtag took off after Depp told everyone, in the court, that Amber left feces in his bed, after an argument during her 30th birthday party in April 2016. Amber vehemently denied the claim and blamed their dog's troubled bowels for the same.

The feces anecdote was viral the moment it hit the social media scene. Saturday Night Live, even used the details in a recent sketch. Multiple social media influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers have created reels mocking Amber's testimony. This reaction is shocking and akin to gaslighting of victims in domestic violence cases.

Soon after, a hacker changed Amber Heard's IMDb name to Amber Turd officially. This screenshot is now viral on Instagram, with multiple users celebrating the move. Another remixed video mocks Amber Heard's replies to cross-examination by Depp's attorneys.

#AmberHeardIsALiar - 18,200 posts

This is another hashtag that is doing the rounds on social media. It started with an edited video. The video captioned "Beautiful Camille vasquez supporting Johnny Depp in court as Amber Heard gets jealous" shows slow motion shots of Camille getting off her seat, Johnny adjusting it for her and then an isolated shot of Amber Heard's face.



We are not sure what this whole edited video clip indicates, but it seems the investigators on social media saw this as jealousy on the part of Heard.

Another video shows Johnny Depp sneezing loudly while Heard is talking on the stand. The veracity of the video is unknown but it mocks Heard's testimony openly, all the while showing Depp as the superior one in the courtroom.

One video in particular, "My dog stepped on a bee" has been meme-ified by social media users and turned into a challenge #mydogsteppedonabee with over 1000 posts.


It is to be noted that there exists no such hashtag making fun of Johnny Depp's testimony.

Meanwhile, the hashtag #JusticeForAmberHeard has so far a little over 5,000 posts recorded.

@Justiceforheard an account on Instagram has been posting videos and articles written in Amber's defense. Most of the posts under this hashtag have been snippets of witness testimony against Johnny Depp's explosive and abusive behaviour.

Twitter

After browsing through #JohnnyDepp, a hashtag with close to 56,000 mentions, we found two prominent hashtags - #JohnnyDeppIsInnocent & #AmberHeardIsALiar.

The #JohnnyDeppIsInnocent hashtag has collected memes and carefully edited videos highlighting Johnny Depp's ordeal at the hands of Amber Heard. Johnny Depp is shown crying in some of these, naturally gaining sympathy from his fanbase.

In a different video, Depp is being questioned by Amber's attorney on whether he possessed and consumed cocaine, the drug, regularly. Depp then evades the question and doles out a rehearsed answer with his famous all-knowing smirk, almost trying to mock the attorney.

These instances of Depp are being touted as heroic, owing to his large fanbase. He is now the face of 'Domestic Violence Against Men' campaigns on Instagram and Twitter. #IStandwithJohnnyDepp, another trending hashtag, contains tweets showing sympathy for Depp, the survivor of domestic violence.

#AmberheardIsALiar - There are viral videos of her crying during her testimony, detailing all accounts of Depp's abuse. Under this hashtag, multiple Twitter users wrote about Amber's Bipolar Personality Disorder and equated it to her violent and truth-evading behavior. These kinds of stereotypes are not only false but create harmful living conditions for BPD patients.

#AmberTurd - On Twitter too, the hashtag is viral as users hurl abuses at Heard, her acting skills, her role in Aquaman and even calls to boycott brands and certain magazines that featured her.

This trial has proven to be the cash-cow for mainstream media outlets as well as independent bloggers and social media influencers, with various 'hot-takes' surfacing everyday. While domestic violence should have been the larger topic of discussion in this defamation trial, that question evaded as social media users alleged 'mutual-abuse' by both parties. But let's be clear, as experts have often noted - there is no such thing as 'mutual-abuse'. However, the perception in this case is clearly skewed in favor of Depp.

Michael Hobbes, the journalist who runs 'Maintenance Phase', that debunks the junk science behind health fads tweeted out a thread indicating how journalists are falling for disinformation in the Depp Vs Amber case.

He points out that while there are documented evidence of Amber's bruises, Depp has called it imaginary and photoshopped. Incidentally, the media has bought Depp's arguments too.

"I'm leaving out a lot of details and I'm not claiming my read is the only valid interpretation. But there's a huge amount of misinformation about this case going around and if we want to combat it, we have to engage with the case on the merits," he tweeted.

This case should have been about domestic violence. It was Amber Heard who first wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 titled, "I spoke up against sexual violence - and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change." She identified as a domestic violence victim but did not mention Depp's name in the piece. However, Depp alleged Heard defamed him in the op-ed. Heard then filed filed a countersuit against Depp, claiming Depp defamed her when his former lawyer referred to her allegations of abuse as a "hoax". Both the suits are being heard in the trail.

Until the jury is out with a verdict, the facts of the case remain the same. The final arguments will be heard on May 27, 2022.



Note: If you are a victim or a survivor of domestic violence and abuse in India, help is available.

Women Helpline ( All India ) – Women In Distress: 1091.

Women Helpline Domestic Abuse: 181.

Police: 100.

National Commission For Women (NCW) ( Domestic violence 24×7 helpline for Sexual Violence and harassment ): 7827170170.

National Commission For Women (NCW): 011-26942369, 26944754.

Delhi Commision For Women: 011-23378044 / 23378317 / 23370597.

Outer Delhi Helpline: 011-27034873 , 27034874.

Student / Child Helpline: 1098


These are the national helpline numbers. There are numbers available for specific states as well.

Updated On: 2022-05-23T16:06:54+05:30
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