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Johnny Depp: 'Not one of you' is safe from 'cancel culture'

Johnny Depp accepted a career award at the

Johnny Depp accepted a career award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, in San Sebastián, Spain.  Credit: AP / Alvaro Barrientos

Taking center stage in a prestigious Spanish film festival to receive a top career award, actor Johnny Depp presented himself as a victim of the "cancel culture" that, he said, has spread across the cinema industry.

Depp was addressing questions on Wednesday by reporters at the San Sebastián International Film Festival about the loss of Hollywood's favor for new roles ever since his ex-wife, actor Amber Heard, went public with allegations of domestic violence against him.

A British judge last year found the allegations to be "substantially correct."

"It’s a very complex situation, this cancel-culture, or this instant rush to judgment based on essentially what amounts to polluted air," the 58-year-old actor responded.

"It’s got so far out of hand that I can assure you, no one is safe. Not one of you, so long as someone is willing to say one thing."

Female filmmakers and other groups had criticized the organizer's decision to distinguish Depp with the Donostia Award, the festival's highest honor, saying it tarnished the event's image and delivered the wrong message to victims of gender violence.

Last year, Depp lost a libel case against a British newspaper that accused him of domestic violence, with the judge on the case ruling the allegations were "substantially correct." In March, a British court refused Depp permission to appeal the ruling that he assaulted his former wife, saying his attempt to overturn the decision had "no real prospect of success."

Depp is also suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Post op-ed essay that she wrote about domestic violence. The trial in that case was recently delayed until April 2022.

Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, which has close links to the festival, said that awards should not be granted based only on professional or artistic achievements.

"What is the message that remains when men denounced for sexist violence are applauded, photographed on red carpets, surrounded by unconditional fans?" the association, known as CIMA, wrote in a Twitter thread in which it acknowledged the "complexity" of the issue.

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