You have to be living under a rock to avoid any news of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial. At the moment, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor is suing his ex-wife for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she discussed her experience with domestic violence. Depp believes this destroyed his career despite the fact that Heard never mentioned him by name, and she’s counter-suing for $100 million. It’s turned into quite the media circus, and many people aren’t happy with the meme-ification of what’s actually a very serious matter — not to mention the “icky” and “tone-deaf” merch that’s been created off the back of the trial.
- People didn’t wait long before trying to cash in. A simple RedBubble search for “Johnny Depp trial” brings up 112 results including stickers, mugs, t-shirts, and blankets with anti-Heard sentiments as well as quotes from Depp’s testimony. Tops with the statements “Justice for Johnny” and “Fck Amber” seem particularly popular.
- Urban Dictionary is getting in on the action as well. They have a $33 mug for sale at the moment that includes a quote describing Heard as “an actress that can’t even act and is known best for divorcing Johnny Depp and then lying about her relationship with him to the media.” In addition, CoolPopTees currently selling a “Team Johnny Depp” t-shirt, which many of the actor’s fans have been seen wearing outside the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia, where the trial is taking place.
- Social media is full of memes about the trial. Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok users have taken videos and screen grabs from the trial and used them to create memes. Some of them are anti-Amber Heard, while others have nothing to do with the actors but are just made for general purposes.
- Not everyone is amused by the merch or the memes. Some social media users have called it “weird” while others admit it seems “icky” and “tone-deaf.” As one person tweeted: “Something about people making literal merch pertaining to Amber Heard vsJohnny Depp is very very VERY uncomfy to me.” Another added: “The meme-ification of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s trial that centres [around] intimate partner violence is… concerning.” A third person wrote: “I just came across a TikTok of someone making and SELLING tshirts of Johnny Depp and quotes from the current trial happening. I can not BEGIN to describe why this is incredibly inappropriate and disrespectful, from the perspective of not just either but BOTH sides.”
am i the only one who friends it a bit weird that people are making edits and even merch of the johnny depp trial
— kia/arlo (@QueerFather) April 25, 2022
That johnny depp meme video of the trial has over FOUR MILLION likes on tik tok…we are doomed
— kale (@d0sveses) April 23, 2022