When Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp received the top award at the San Sebastian film festival, he commented against the controversial cancel culture. He warned the public that anyone could be a victim of this trend that attacks any action, comment, and policy that does not follow the hegemonic discourse.
Depp warned that “no one is safe” from the cancel culture while answering questions at the Spanish film festival where he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, The Guardian reported.
The words of the 58-year-old actor were issued during the press conference before the ceremony, where he expressed his opinion on the so-called “cancellation culture” that affects some figures whose public image has been questioned.
He has also given his point of view about the film industry today, and the impact that the pandemic caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus has had.
“No one is safe. None of you, nor anyone outside of here. No one is safe because all it takes is for someone to say one simple sentence and the earth disappears beneath your feet,” the actor said in a choppy monologue.
He then offered a glimmer of hope in which he assured that: “If you have the truth on your side that’s all you need. It doesn’t matter if in judging you certain permissions have been taken. When there is an injustice, if it is against you or someone you love or believe in, respond and don’t be silent.”
He was also asked about social movements focused on sexual harassment and violence against women by powerful men. In responding, he did not make a specific criticism against the movements, even stressing that “the various movements that emerged were with the best of intentions,” but also asserted that they are currently “out of control.”
He also criticized “this cancel culture or this instant rush to judgment based on essentially what amounts to polluted air that’s exhaled.”
In 2020, Johnny Depp sued the editor of The Sun, a British online newspaper, for allegedly baselessly accusing him of being violent to his ex-wife Amber Heard during their two-year marriage.
Depp is not the only Hollywood actor to voice his criticism against the cancel culture.
Another case that went viral was Rowan Atkinson, an English actor famous for his roles as Mr. Bean and Johnny English, who compared the cancel culture to “a medieval mafia looking for who to lynch” and reminded of the importance of being exposed to a broad spectrum of opinions.
Atkinson, during an interview, criticized decadent cultural trends and the role of social networks in polarization. “The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a binary and simplistic view of society.”
He then added that everything becomes “a situation where you are either with us or against us” and that, if you declare yourself against, you end up being canceled.
The renowned American actor, director, and singer Donald Glover, also reproached the cancel culture, assuring that the fear of it leads to making mediocre movies. This came at a cost to him as he was showered with criticism from many of his colleagues.
The cancel culture has managed to enter practically all the environments of Western society. According to its critics, it introduces a logic of thought based on “good guys and bad guys” where if a person does not fit in with the hegemonic thinking, they automatically belong to the ranks of the “bad guys,” with all that this implies.