Content warning: This article discusses domestic violence/intimate partner violence.
The internet has been flooding everyone’s feeds with footage and memes from the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial. Whether you’ve been keeping up with all the details from day one or you haven’t bothered watching, it’s likely you’ve still seen the viral content, from jokes to controversies — and pretty much everything in between.
Many people have strong opinions about the trial. Some are siding with Johnny; some with Amber. We wanted to know where our Muslim community stands when it comes to this serious situation.
We read all the responses we received from our Muslim Girl readers about the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial. The answers we received are pretty much representative of the mainstream rhetoric circulating online. Here are nine of the most compelling responses.
1. Those Siding With Amber Heard
2. Those on the Fence
3. Those Siding With Johnny Depp
Who Should We Pick?
While it’s true that Johnny Depp is a powerful man with a massive influence over so many people worldwide, a judge in the UK previously found Heard’s abuse allegation to be “substantially true.”
Without sitting through the whole trial and having all the information, choosing a side can potentially mean oppressing someone. We can only hope that the truth will prevail and the judges will be able to deliver justice to the appropriate party. We also hope that this trial doesn’t make it any more difficult than it already is for abuse survivors to come froward and seek their rights. Many people believe that Heard losing will make it harder for other women who have suffered from domestic violence to be believed.
Through seeing the discourse on social media, it has become abundantly clear that many people believe that a victim has to be “perfect” in order to be a victim. That’s not what happens with domestic violence; many times, survivors are provoked in to reacting in self-defense, and the abusers are able to twist it to portray the victim as the abuser. Just remember that whether or not you like someone as a person doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not they can be a victim. Justice has nothing to do with whether or not you like someone as a person. Regardless of if you’re Team Amber or Team Johnny, we hope that your decision will never be based on popularity or likability. Many public figures with large followings have turned out to be guilty of abusive and/or oppressive behavior, and we’ve seen this play out in our community many times. It’s important to remember that abusive people are incredibly skilled at manipulation and impression management. Base your decision on the evidence — which should be obtained by watching the whole trial and reviewing all the evidence available — not your fandom or random social media clips created by people who may have a bias.
If you’re being abused, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or visit their website for help; please keep in mind that many abusers monitor web usage, and access resources as safely as you can.