Johnny Depp Says He’s Been “Banned From Hollywood” While Promoting His New Movie

The actor made the comments while promoting his new movie "Minamata"

Johnny Depp attends the "Crock of Gold: A few Rounds with Shane McGowan" premiere during the 16th Zurich Film Festival at Kino Corso on October 02, 2020 in Zurich, Switzerland. The actor recently complained about being banned from Hollywood.
Johnny Depp attending the "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane McGowan" premiere in Zurich in 2020.
Getty Images for ZFF

In 2016, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard divorced after roughly a year of marriage. Heard obtained a temporary restraining order against the actor, claiming he was physically and emotionally abusive to her. Since then, the former couple has been tangled up in a messy legal drama, with Depp most recently suing Heard for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit related to an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in which she detailed the alleged abuse. (That case is still making its way through the courts.)

Depp’s career has taken a significant hit since then; naturally, not many people want to work with an alleged domestic abuser. He was written out of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in 2019, and he was replaced with Mads Mikkelson in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts series. But he’s still been able to land the occasional role, and in his first interview since losing his libel suit against U.K. tabloid The Sun, he insisted he’s been the subject of a Hollywood boycott — while promoting his new movie.

Depp stars in Minamata, portraying photographer W. Eugene Smith, who chronicled the mercury poisoning of Japanese villagers in the early 1970s for Life magazine.

“Some films touch people,” Depp said. “And this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything… [pause] for Hollywood’s boycott of, erm, me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”

 “Whatever I’ve gone through, I’ve gone through,” he continued. “But, ultimately, this particular arena of my life has been so absurd.”

What’s absurd is that anyone — even a former A-lister like Depp — would feel entitled to a Hollywood career. This is yet another case of someone simply reaping what they’ve sown. The consequences to one’s actions are not “cancel culture” or a “boycott.” Depp lost his libel lawsuit against The Sun in 2018 — which he filed after the publication called him a “wife-beater” — because England’s High Court of Justice ruled that Heard’s allegations against him were “substantially true.” Why, then, is he shocked to find that fewer people want to work with him after a court essentially ruled that yes, he is, in fact, a wife-beater?

It’s also worth pointing out that Depp is still getting work. In addition to Minamata, he also recently appeared in City of Lies , which follows retired LAPD detective Russell Poole as he investigates the murder of The Notorious B.I.G., opposite Forest Whitaker. How many up-and-coming actors who haven’t been accused of domestic violence would kill for roles like those?

Depp himself appeared to have a brief moment of self-awareness in the interview, noting that his struggles pale in comparison to what the Japanese mercury poisoning victims portrayed in his new movie and the millions of people worldwide who have contracted COVID-19 have had to deal with.

“That’s like getting scratched by a kitten,” he said, referring to his situation. “Comparatively.”

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