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Earlier this month, one of the biggest names in Hollywood was suddenly dropped from a huge franchise with five films left to go. Depp had played the main villain Gellert Grindelwald in the big-screen adaptation of JK Rowlings Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them series. Warner Bros confirmed the studio had asked its leading man to step down. No direct reason was given but it as clear that the recent ruling in a UK court was viewed as upholding Heard’s accusations of domestic violence in their marriage. Many fans believe the actress is also guilty of the same and almost a million have already signed a petition denouncing the star on the immensely powerful change.org platform.
Depp has always contested that he was also the victim of spousal abuse. Following losing his court case suing The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater”, the actor released a statement vowing to clear his name.
His fans have sprung to his defense, unwilling to believe their idol committed such acts and also demanding that Heard be punished for making false accusations and dropped by Warner Bros from her latest Justice League movie.
A new petition called has already shot to over 900,000 signatures in the past few days.
The petition states: “Men are victims of domestic abuse, just like women. This must be recognized, and action must be taken to prevent a known abuser from being celebrated within the entertainment industry.
“Do the right thing. Remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2.”
Heard plays the mythical Princess Mera alongside Jason Momoa’s title character in the hugely successful new franchise. The first movie grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and the sequel is in pre-production.
Depp’s career, however, hangs in the balance, with Disney already reported to be planning to kill off his character Jack Sparrow off-screen before the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean reboot.
Depp’s fans have also started another petition to demand he returns to the franchise.
The actor also has support from the franchise’s main producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who backed him from the start.
In the earliest days before the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, was released, Disney executives were horrified by Depp’s outrageous seaman, believing he struck the wrong tone for a family-friendly film.
Now the studio is said to be equally concerned that the recent court case and Depp’s determination to keep fighting a legal battle will be equally damaging to a family-friendly franchise.
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Whether or not Depp clears his name, Disney is aware that months and possibly years of court cases will keep the story in the public eye.
The actor has fiercely loyal and vocal fans but there are equally loud voices on the other side which have been condemning his involvement in the Fantastic Beats movies ever since his casting was announced.
Depp’s immediate future in Holywood looks bleak, but it remains to be seen whether Heard will also find her own career tarnished and damaged if a public backlash builds momentum.
SEE THE AMBER HEARD PETITION HERE
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