Imagine if you will, a public trial between an ex-husband and wife. Horrific acts of abuse and public defamation have been claimed. The wife testifies, and shows evidence of her ex-husband repeatedly beating her. Shows proof that he threw a bottle at her, which resulted in the severing of the tip of one of her fingers. The jury believes all of the overwhelming proof of abuse, and rules against the husband. He loses his case.
A week later, this man, whom a jury has ruled committed all of these atrocities against his ex-wife, gets an hour sit down interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. He’s asked how all of this has affected HIM. How HE has been hurt, how the media and the public have been unfair to HIM. How disappointed he is that no one believed his lies about not harming his ex-wife.
Hard to imagine, isn’t it? That’s because it WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. Not in a million years. If it was proven that a man did these vile things to a woman, a woman he was married to, no one would want to talk to him. The only time of day he would get in the media would be them discussing how evil he is, and celebrating her, and her resilience.
So why, when those roles become reversed, do we continue to give the abuser a platform? One answer: Because in this case, the abuser is a woman.
The Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard defamation trial has drawn a lot of attention worldwide. I will fully admit it sucked me in. I watched every day with baited breath, hanging on every word. I was so happy when Johnny was vindicated. I celebrated with the rest of his supporters. Everyone was talking about how “domestic violence has no gender.” And #MenToo. I was fully on board. To that extent, I still am.
And yet, the double standards still exist. Amber was given an hour long interview with the Today Show and Dateline, sitting down with Savannah Guthrie. In the clips we’ve seen thus far, she is doubling-down on her abuse claims, continuing to blame everyone but herself, and continuing to defame Johnny. And everyone is just okay with that. Why? Because it brings in big ratings. I, however, am angry.
If Johnny were the actual abuser, if he had done to Amber what she did to him, he would be a pariah. No one would go near him.
It seems that even though we heard and saw the evidence, and we know the jury ruled in Johnny’s favor, people still don’t see a female abuser as your typical “wife-beater,” if you will. Because she’s a woman, networks like NBC feel perfectly comfortable bringing her on their network and asking her how SHE is feeling. How all of this has affected HER. What SHE plans to do next. Why do we care? No one would want to know Johnny’s answers to those questions if the roles were reversed.
We’ve all had fun mocking Amber and her team, myself included. Right or wrong, this has played out on social media and in front of the world, and we’ve all had a taste. It’s easy to get sucked into, the private lives of celebrities. And when it’s a global superstar like Johnny Depp, who has always been private, it’s even more delicious. But as much as Amber is disliked, we are still hanging on every word she says, as she sinks herself farther and farther into the ground. It’s a train wreck and we’re all along for the ride.
In all seriousness though, we need to stop. Amber is a textbook narcissist. For her, this is still all a game. She thinks if she can keep spinning her narrative, and playing herself as the victim, eventually people will believe her. The levels of delusion under which she operates are astronomical. She will never stop as long as she has an outlet to continue to spread her lies.
We have to stop giving her a platform. Because behind all the glittery, salacious, celebrity insight, is an abuser. Amber is the abuser in this situation, not the victim. She needs to be treated as such. We must look at Amber in the same light we look at male perpetrators. Because by letting her continue to have the platform and spotlight, we are complicit in her continued abuse of Johnny Depp.