Do positive memories affect our outlook on the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp case?

The widely publicised defamation trial against Amber Heard from Johnny Depp has filled our feeds this month. How might our memories of the actors on screen affect our opinions?

Gabbi De Boer
18th May 2022
Heard and Depp at a red carpet event. Image: Wikimedia
As a celebrity, it’s widely accepted that your life will always be in the spotlight, and nothing has demonstrated this more than the trial between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. 
Amber Heard's side has not yet been heard in this court case. Image: IMDB

Growing up, Depp had a massive influence on many people’s lives. His iconic roles such as Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter shaped many of us, and it’s not a surprise that the majority of people associate him with positive memories. Maybe that’s why, then, so much depends on the outcome of this trial.

All over the internet, support for Depp has been undeniably positive, despite the impact the trial has had on his career. The case itself has been watched all over social media, with at least one courtroom clip appearing on feeds everywhere, every day. As the trial is still ongoing (and with Depp’s lawyers being the first to present evidence), support has been high due to Heard’s side not being presented yet. This, paired with his iconic status, has made him out to be the favourite.

Johnny Depp's appearance in court has made viral headlines on apps like TikTok. Image: IMDB

The impact on the lawsuit against Heard has been argued to barely affect her on-screen career, as she keeps hold of her role in Aquaman 2 (rumored to be cut to 10 minutes), and many domestic abuse charities have spoken out in support of her. The evidence stacked against her has been less than positive, and with Depp’s career being much more lucrative than her own, support for her has dwindled. 

This therefore poses the question - have the memories of Depp’s iconic roles clouded our judgments? It’s hard to hate someone who we have thought of so fondly, and with Heard having little influence in comparison it can be easy to fall into a habit of choosing sides. The case itself is also complex, and domestic violence isn’t something to be taken lightly. Despite the jokes online, both parties have been heavily affected, and we shouldn’t simply support - and in turn, degrade - someone simply because we don’t want our positive feelings tarnished. 

The case itself is also complex, and domestic violence isn’t something to be taken lightly.

It is also important to remember that cases like this happen behind closed doors all over the country. Although updates saturate the media, it’s also not anyone’s place to take sides. We can still enjoy our favourite films, and love both Depp and Heard in their respective roles if we choose to, but letting this small part of their personality determine our stance on something so serious that deserves more careful consideration.

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