“You only defend him because he is good looking.”
“He isn’t going to fuck you.”
“He is a celebrity who doesn’t even know you.”
“Don’t waste your time defending a white rich man.”
“Stupid stan, you look obsessed.”
“You belong to a cult.”
“You just don’t want him to be guilty.”
Consider the themes of films like The Green Mile, The Fugitive, The Shawshank Redemption…consider real cases like Michael Jackson, The West Memphis Three, The Scottsboro Boys…consider TV documentaries like Making A Murderer, The Central Park Five, A Murder In The Park…
All of these center around a human being or several human beings that have been wrongfully accused. Within these stories, there are ALWAYS people that believe they are guilty, no matter what they are given to change their mind.
What does this mean? Why are these themes included in so many fiction and non-fiction premises?
The answer is simple.
Because many people do not care about justice, and will never care about justice. They only care about making problems go away. The faster they can name a person guilty and move on, the better. Whether that person is actually guilty or not is immaterial. Not their problem.
With social media, people can now make these voices heard. They post hundreds of comments talking about how they will ‘never believe’ someone no matter what, and these comments spread like wildfire. Hundreds of people hop on the bandwagon without even thinking to find out for themselves what to think…because the ‘thinking’ has been done for them.
And now, with the heavy lean on believing women, and believing female victims, and Me Too…the time for males to suffer with false accusations is rising rapidly. A man who has a career, children, a family…one accusation by a bitter woman can make all of that fall apart. There is no ‘wait and see’, there is no safety blanket for the man…he is immediately exiled.
When the man is a public figure of any magnitude (an actor, doctor, lawyer, musician, journalist etc.) this is magnified many times over.
The accusation train is a fast moving one, and with it comes attention, respect, and acceptance. To 90% of social media, if you don’t board, you are an ‘apologist’, a ‘victim blamer’, and you are cast out.
People don’t think anymore. They don’t want to think anymore. They want to get back to their mobile games, their reality television shows, their Youtube shows, their Netflix, their Facetimes, and their online shopping as fast as possible, BUT they still want to participate in the latest and greatest outrage. It makes them feel powerful, it makes them feel like they have contributed to the downfall of someone who MUST deserve it.
This actor said THIS, damn him (when in reality he was misquoted, or the context was missed)…this actor is accused of [insert crime here]…well he must have fucking done it, damn him…this woman said this man did this, and since women never lie, he definitely did it.
People have become robots, and they will believe anything and everything that is fed to them as long as it fits their current narrative being streamlined to them by the media. Right now, gender is the basis for truth, race is the basis for crime, and religion is the basis for hate.
None of these three should be the first thing you consider when examining a scenario. As a student of rhetoric, I have used a much more effective method of analysis. First, allow me to define rhetoric:
“Rhetoric maybe defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”
In layman’s terms, this is basically the art of critical thinking.
The method of analysis that I use, and have used since I was 16, is Kenneth Burke’s analytical pentad, pictured below.
I will explain this in terms of the Depp case.
The Act: Amber Heard accused Johnny Depp of domestic violence.
Agency: Through the media, and through her divorce lawyer.
Agent: Amber Heard
Purpose: Her own benefit.
This model can be used to identify the jumping off points with which to frame your argument, and your beliefs regarding the situation you are examining. When you are able to provide answers to the five points of the pentad, then you can begin building a case.
The biggest mistake that people make when looking at a situation is that they think that already know the answer. They don’t. Every time I go into a situation, I maintain a status of “I don’t know” until I have enough evidence to support a decision. This is the ONLY way to go about anything. Otherwise you are undermining your own brain.
So, why do I defend Johnny Depp?
Because who the fuck wouldn’t?
Whether he has money, whether he is white, whether he is a man, whether he did drugs, whether he drank…none of that matters, because he is still a human being, and he still deserves an objective defense.
Objectively, I don’t defend Johnny Depp. I have never defended Johnny Depp. I never will defend Johnny Depp.
I defend a man. I defend a person.
I defend a man who has been falsely accused by his narcissistic ex-wife of domestic violence. I defend him because I KNOW how difficult men can have it when trying to prove their innocence in the face of today’s trigger-happy society. I KNOW how much men hide when they are being abused. I have seen it happen.
And I have seen how little support they get when they do come forward. Feminists say we should believe all victims, that we should never question victims, that we should support all victims…as long as they are women.
If it is a man saying they were abused, then they are the abuser, they just want money, they are just trying to torment the woman, they are lying, they are trash, they probably abused her…people come up with excuses to dismiss these men as though it is going out of style. It’s shameful.
We need to stop looking at this with a gender lens. Gender does not matter. Person A has accused Person B of abuse.
That is the way you should think about it. Because only then can you actually treat it with the objectivity that every situation deserves.
Subjectively, I defend Johnny Depp because I know, with all my talent in understanding people, and seeing inside people, that he is not capable of this. He is the sweetest, kindest, most gentle person in the world, and every. single. person. that has met him has said the same.
He has inspired me since I was twelve…and the strength that he has shown through this whole ordeal could fuel an army.
I defend Johnny Depp because for evil to succeed, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.
I defend Johnny Depp because it is the right thing to do.
And I will continue to defend Johnny Depp until I decide that the world has stopped giving me a reason to.