Emma Thompson: #MeToo Movement Should Not Be 'Derailed' by Depp v Heard Trial
© AFP 2023 / JOHN MACDOUGALLBritish actress Emma Thompson addresses the press conference for the film 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande' by Australian director Sophie Hyde, presented in the Berlinale Special Gala section, during the 72nd Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on February 12, 2022.
© AFP 2023 / JOHN MACDOUGALL
The British actress is one of the most vocal advocates of #MeToo, siding with the women who stepped forward with their allegations of gender violence since 2017 when the movement was launched.
Dame Emma Thompson has said that the #MeToo movement should not be "derailed" by the overly-televised case of two "very very very famous people", referring to Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
"In order for it not to be derailed, we just have to keep on talking. We have to keep on talking and refuse to allow it to be derailed by a case [with] two very very very famous people, which has been blown out of all remote human proportion by the press… that's something that can't be avoided," Thompson told BBC Woman's Hour.
According to her, famous people will always be viewed and treated differently when it comes to cases like this. #MeToo, Thompson said, is about "human kindness" but it "has been made so complicated".
She went on to urge every #MeToo supporter to keep talking about the movement so that the blockbuster Depp v Heard trial does not "derail" it. After six weeks of the trial-turned-reality-show, Depp ended up victorious with Heard ordered to pay $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages - a sum that was later reduced to a total of $10.35 million.
Heard slammed the verdict as a "setback" for women's rights, claiming that the court's decision "sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated".
Depp, who argued that Heard defamed him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, has claimed that it was his ex-wife who was the abuser in their relationship. He sued her, demanding $50 million, with Heard's team filing a counter-suit requesting twice as much.
In her op-ed, Heard never directly mentioned Depp but portrayed herself as a victim of domestic abuse. Shortly after the article was published, the actor lost his big gigs. Depp denied ever abusing Heard.