johnny depp fans

Pile-ons, merch and fancams: How Johnny Depp’s obsessive fans took over the trial

When did we all become so detached?

“SICK OF SEEING THAT HORSE’S FACE,” a Tweet read, reacting to a close-up of Amber Heard while the defamation court case streamed live to 100,000 people. “She looks like a librarian in those fucking glasses,” the same person observed while a piece of written evidence was presented to the court.

Everywhere you turn, obsessive Johnny Depp fans won’t be far behind. On Twitter, they’re starting feral hashtags to project their anger onto all women (because, frankly, people barely need an excuse to uncover their veiled misogyny). On TikTok, stans are carefully selecting backing tracks to their elaborate edits. On Facebook, your family members are probably off posting statuses like: “In this house, we support Johnny Depp”.

They EVEN managed to stumble their way inside the courthouse to watch the legal proceedings unfold. During Depp’s final testimony (25th April), Judge Azcarate even threatened to throw the congregation out for laughing too loudly.

Now, I’m not taking sides in this case. But it’s my job to report the facts – and the fact is, these ultra-die-hard fans have managed to make the trial all about themselves. Here’s how:

TikTok fancams

@justjdepp he’s telling the world 🥺💔🩹 #justiceforjohnnydepp #johnnydepp ♬ only love can hurt like this – favsoundds

Whatever the outcome of the lawsuit, it’s never okay to make fancams of people in court. The amount of people putting a pretty filter over Depp giving his testimony – set to a low-fi remix of Paloma Faith’s Only Love Can Hurt Like This – is genuinely baffling.

Having differing opinions, dare I say it, on the case is fine. Supporting either party is fine. Investing an unhealthy amount of time in the case is fine – I mean, it’s literally how I earn money.

But making fancams is objectively WEIRD. Please, stop it.

Johnny Depp trial merch

Photos via Etsy

This is very “selling-popcorn-at-an-inhumane-Victorian-circus” and I hate it. This trial isn’t a spectacle, and whichever way we look at it, two human beings are going through a very real ordeal right now.

Mugs, t-shirts, hoodies and pin badges; each bearing Amber Heard’s name or Johnny Depp’s stooped likeness can be found at any market site, like Etsy. When did we become so detached from reality?

At the heart of the Heard vs. Depp case is the issue of domestic abuse. For the sake of survivors everywhere, can we please treat it with the respect and gravitas it deserves?

Twitter pile-ons and provocative hashtags

johnny depp

On day one of Depp’s testimony, the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp began circulating on Twitter. Within 24 hours, there were thousands of potentially libellous tweets, jokes and comments aimed at Amber Heard and “believe-all-women-women”.

People were utilising it (as well as #AmberTurd and #AmberHeardIsALiar) to vent their already vested interest in women who report domestic and sexual abuse in general. “This is the face of someone who’s set feminism back 100 years,” one tweet read. “No-one will ever believe them now.”

Anyone daring to hold an opinion somewhat vaguely outside the “Johnny good Amber bad” norm has been advised to lock down their Twitter accounts, just in case their mentions are filled with obsessed fans seeking revenge.

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Featured image via Steve Helber/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock.