Skip to content
safe exitsafe exit

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: ‘me too.’ Issues Statement on the Mischaracterization of the Movement


Media contact:

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: ‘me too.’ Issues Statement on the Mischaracterization of the Movement

#MeToo is the greatest acknowledgment by survivors about the prevalence of sexual violence, ever. Since the hashtag went viral, so much has shifted toward nuanced narratives about survivorhood and the long term, widespread impact of sexual violence. And yet, the way in which #MeToo has been co-opted and manipulated during the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial is a toxic catastrophe and one of the biggest defamations of the movement we have ever seen. 

Over the last six weeks, we have been confronted with the mockery of assault, shame and blame. Countless headlines proclaiming the death of #MeToo. News stories full of clickbait, having nothing to do with the actual work happening to interrupt sexual violence, have come across our screens with haste. No mention of the fact that, not only was this trial not about sexual violence at its core, but there has also been no headline asking the question that really matters – “What do we need to do to prevent anyone else from having to say #MeToo?”

What we experienced in the Depp-Heard trial was a public retelling of intimate partner violence between two privileged white celebrities. And the accounts are as equally harrowing as the public humiliation and harassment thwarted against Heard. It is a case study for how social and political movements get misused and weaponized against the very people it’s meant to serve.

Larger than this trial and ultimate jury decision is a movement made up of millions of survivors fighting for their dignity and their right to seek justice, and a country that still has to reckon with why it is so invested in the pain and anguish of violence, rather than remedying it. As for me too. International, the organization that was founded to ensure that the original intent of #MeToo is realized, we will continue to center and speak to those who need healing. At a time when we are facing new threats against abortion rights, gun safety, and the fight for Black lives, we will not lose focus or shy away because of those who are committed to misunderstanding our movement. The work to honor our rights to our own bodies and to build disruption across the spectrum of rape culture, persists.