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Johnny Depp’s San Sebastian Festival Award Sparks Controversy with Female Filmmakers

Johnny Depp has garnered immense support from hundreds of thousands of fans across the world during his ongoing troubles with ex-wife Amber Heard, but not everyone is on his side. Recently, it was announced that the embattled actor would be honored with the Donostia Award at the 69th annual San Sebastian film festival next month. Many have applauded the decision to give Johnny Depp the festival’s highest honor, but others have been crying foul.

Per the Associated Press, some Spanish female filmmakers are none too happy about Depp’s award. They argue that honoring the actor gives the San Sebastian film festival a bad name following a British judge’s controversial ruling that ex-wife Amber Heard’s allegations of domestic violence were “substantially true.” Cristina Andreu, the President of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, told the Associate Press that she was “very surprised” by the announcement.

“This speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership, and transmits a terrible message to the public: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor’,” Andreu said, adding that the association, which has close ties to the festival, was “studying next steps.”

The San Sebastian International Film Festival is hosted in northern Spain. This year, it’s scheduled to take place between Sept. 17-25. The expectation is that Depp will personally appear to receive the award at the festival on Sept. 22, which would mark his third appearance at the event. It seems possible that these plans could change if Andreu follows through on pulling some strings behind the scenes to get Depp’s award rescinded.

Depp has long been one of the world’s most popular actors, but his career took a sharp left turn when ex-wife Amber Heard alleged that he had physically abused her during their marriage. When the allegations were fresh, Depp lost his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series. Depp’s lawyers have since released evidence that has seemingly swayed public opinion mostly in his favor, including audio recordings and police body cam footage that seem to contradict Heard’s accusations.

Last year, Depp lost a libel lawsuit against a British tabloid that referred to him as a “wife beater” based on the allegations. Depp appealed the decision but suffered another big blow when the appeal was tossed in March, with the British court claiming that the attempt to overturn the ruling had “no real prospect of success.” To make matters worse for Depp, he was immediately asked by Warner Bros. to resign from his role in Fantastic Beasts 3. Minamata director Andrew Levitas also says MGM is burying the movie’s release due to Depp’s involvement.

Meanwhile, the legal drama between Depp and Heard still isn’t over, as he has a separate $50 million libel case against her directly in the United States. The trial has been delayed until April 2022, but should Depp get a positive outcome that time, things might finally turn back around for his career. In the meantime, fans are continuing to rally behind the actor using the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp. This news comes to us from The Associated Press.

Topics: Sexual Misconduct

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