Johnny Depp says Hollywood is boycotting him in first interview since defamation case loss

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Johnny Depp believes Hollywood is boycotting him after he lost his defamation lawsuit against The Sun newspaper. 

After his volatile relationship with Amber Heard came to an end, Depp sued the news outlet for referring to him as a “wife-beater” in a lengthy case that aired a lot of the couple’s dirty laundry and ultimately resulted in a loss for Depp. The situation led to the 58-year-old departing from his role in the Warner Bros. “Fantastic Beasts” franchise and it prompted MGM to shelve the release of his latest film “Minamata.” 

The movie follows real-life photojournalist W Eugene Smith, who helped expose the harsh impact of mercury poisoning on coastal communities in Japan in the 1970s. 

Speaking to The Sunday Times in his first interview since losing the case, Depp explained that Hollywood’s alleged boycott of him is now making it so that the story of the Japanese people affected cannot be told. 

In this file photo dated Tuesday, July 28, 2020, US Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London during his case against News Group Newspapers over a story published about his former wife Amber Heard, which branded him a ‘wife beater’.  A British judge is set to deliver his judgement in writing on Monday Nov. 2, 2020, deciding whether a tabloid newspaper defamed Depp by calling him a ‘wife beater.’
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE)

Depp explained that he feels a responsibility to the people of Minamata, who he says he promised to tell their story in a way that isn’t exploitative. Now, thanks to a stupendously bad relationship and ensuing court battle, the focus is not on the men, women and children impacted in the 1970s. Comparatively, he likens his situation to “getting scratched by a kitten” but laments that it’s affecting his storytelling ability and Hollywood career nonetheless. 

The star went as far as to say he’s under a Hollywood boycott. 

“Some films touch people and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything … for Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?” he said.

He added: “But, you know, I’m moving towards where I need to go to make all that… To bring things to light.”

Depp is likely talking about his upcoming defamation case against Heard in the United States set for April.

The Sunday Times reports that director Andrew Levitas is personally appealing to MGM to set a U.S. release date for “Minamata” with some pretty strong language. In a letter to the studio, he accused it of failing its “moral obligation.”

He also challenged the studio to explain “why you think an actor’s personal life is more important than their dead children.”

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