Film Festival Defends Honorary Award for Johnny Depp | 22 Words

The past year has been a dramatic one for Johnny Depp. In 2020, the Hollywood star lost a libel case against a British newspaper that had labeled him a "wife-beater" following his tumultuous relationship with actress Amber Heard. But a High Court judge ruled last year that the article has been "substantially true." Nonetheless, the only legal action has been that of the libel case, and Depp has not been arrested or charged with any counts of domestic abuse.

There have been many real-life consequences for Depp, though. He's lost many major film roles, including that in the Fantastic Beasts series. It seems the allegations in the media will continue to follow him.

However, it seems as though Depp's reputation isn't fully destroyed. In fact, in a controversial move, the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain has singled Depp out for an outstanding contribution to the film industry award at their ceremony next month. However, many aren't happy with the decision.

"When a perpetrator is celebrated, allowing them to continue to garner success and public approval suggests that abuse is acceptable and does not matter," the Women's Aid Federation said earlier this week, as per the BBC.

However, the San Sebastian Film Festival has hit back at the accusations. The festival disputed claims that it was "failing to display ethical behavior in regard to violence against women."

The festival claims it wishes to balance "inequality, the abuse of power and violence against women," with the "presumption of innocence" and "right to reintegration."

"According to the proven data which we have to hand, Johnny Depp has not been arrested, charged nor convicted of any form of assault or violence against any woman," the festival's statement continues."We repeat: he has not been charged by any authority in any jurisdiction, nor convicted of any form of violence against women."

It seems that Depp isn't without his supporters amidst the general public, either. "Good for them! Way to stand up for Johnny!! He never deserved all the hate he was getting! He was wrongly accused & he needs to get back the roles he lost! Seriously I am so mad at Amber! She should have been fired from Aquaman 2 & she should be blacklisted in Hollywood!!! Justice for Johnny!!!" one Facebook fan wrote.

However, others are with the Women's Aid Federation. "But the court of public opinion! He was accused and so obviously did it, despite no one has done a formal court case on any of it *sarcasm*... It's been obvious slander, and it's hurt his career, but these film festivals are standing up to Johnny's right to be innocent until PROVEN guilty. This is great for him," one Facebooker pointed out.

What do you think of this honorary award?