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Rihanna Facing Backlash for Casting Johnny Depp in New Show

Published on November 5th, 2022 | Updated on November 5th, 2022 | By FanFest

Actor Johnny Depp‘s upcoming appearance in Rihanna‘s new Savage X Fenty fashion show has sparked outrage online, with many people calling for a boycott of the singer’s lingerie brand.

The 59-year-old actor, who was accused of domestic abuse by ex-wife Amber Heard, has already filmed his cameo in the runway extravaganza. Although Depp is not named in press materials or the show’s trailer, his appearance has been confirmed by CNN. Neither representatives for Rihanna nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comment about the decision to cast Depp.

Amazon’s “seductive fashion fever dream” features performances by Anitta and Burna Boy, as well as appearances from Cara Delevingne, Simu Liu and TikTok star Bella Poarch. Depp’s involvement led fans to call for Rihanna to remove his scenes.

“Editing team better be out here deleting this man out of this,” read one response to a post promoting the show on Savage X Fenty’s Instagram account.

Rihanna Facing Backlash for Casting Johnny Depp in New Show

On Twitter, users expressed their disapproval using the hashtag #DitchDepp, with some threatening to boycott the label. Music producer Drew Dixon described the decision to cast the actor as “really disappointing,” while British singer and actor Olly Alexander — who has previously collaborated with Savage X Fenty on a social media campaign — announced on social media that he “won’t be wearing” the brand any longer.

Some viewers were skeptical that Depp would appear in the show at all, given that it won’t air until Wednesday. “For those outraged, I would wait and see if this actually happens,” tweeted author Art Tavana. “This isn’t how Rihanna rolls. Her branding is bulletproof.”

After Depp’s divorce in 2017, he sued Amber Heard for $50 million over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

After Depp sued Heard for defamation, she countered with an even larger lawsuit of her own. Both were ultimately found responsible for defamation in a highly publicized and watched trial, though the jury awarded damages that heavily favored Depp.

Heard maintains that Depp abused her during their marriage, a claim the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor has consistently denied. Depp has also said that he was the victim of domestic violence — a claim that some of his supporters compared to Rihanna’s own experience of abuse while in a relationship with singer Chris Brown. “Survivors supporting survivors,” wrote one Twitter user in support of the singer’s casting choice.

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Depp sued a British newspaper over domestic violence allegations 6 weeks ago, and as Heard’s accusations continue, he has lost his role in future “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Moreover, following his failed UK libel case, Depp is no longer part of the cast for the “Fantastic Beasts” movie franchise.

Depp has made several high-profile appearances since June’s verdict, including a surprise cameo at MTV’s Video Music Awards in August. While joking to the audience about his availability for events like birthdays and weddings, a video of Depp’s face was superimposed onto a life-sized Moonman floating above the stage.

Depp is set to appear as King Louis XV in the forthcoming French movie “La Favorite.” He has also reprised his voice role as Johnny Puffin in the animated TV series “Puffins Impossible,” and is set to direct a film about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, according to both Deadline and the Hollywood Reporter.

Savage X Fenty, which also makes men’s underwear, has been praised in the past for its inclusive sizing and diverse casting.

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