Drawing Comparison Between Johnny Depp and Sherine Abdel Wahab, How the Fight Against Cancel Culture Goes On
By Mervat Mohsen.
The Johnny Depp unraveling saga – before I get to it- reminded me of a tangent love affair wrapped in the lore of the East where star-crossed lovers break each other in the name of many things. Yet the weaker link refused to be canceled. In 1958, the Shah of Iran divorced his wife, Soraya because she was infertile and because she refused to allow her husband to take a second wife to produce an heir. The highly-publicized divorce immortalized Soraya, already famed for her legendary beauty, as a victim of circumstance. Hurt and alone, Soraya rose in the West as an icon of style and worked as an actress for a while.
Amber Heard -hardly a queen consort like Soraya, though still a face to crave- has nevertheless wielded enough power to be a game-changer in the heart of Hollywood. Because of Heard, megastar Johnny Depp, a titan and alone, is taking on the entirely absurd cancel culture to clear his name.
Depp had unwittingly entered the court fray six years ago in a lawsuit brought on by former wife Amber Heard to prove he was a domestic abuser. He was skinned alive. He lost money, roles, face, and fans. This time around he decided he wanted his life back and went willingly to court with all he had. Prepared and proud, Depp joked that by now he had grasped the legal process in a court of law. He spoke quietly and in a composed manner, sharing the most humiliating tatters of what was a perfect life in a live broadcast. He sure is winning even if he loses as he plays his most decisive role yet. He had lost hundreds of millions of dollars to cancelled projects after the defamation suit brought on by former wife Amber Heard. He also lost his standing as the untouchable actor who lived the sheltered life of the privileged where petty spiffs do not exist. After a tumultuous divorce from Amber Heard, 36, the actor was forced to pay compensations and was embarrassingly outed from several projects, most important of which were the Savage Beasts sequel and Pirates of the Caribbean.
In 2020, Depp was sacked from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. It was after he lost a libel case against The Sun in which the latter flagged him as an abuser. Earlier, Depp was canceled from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise when claims of abuse first surfaced in 2016 against Amber Heard. The young actress had methodically begun to rally groups against Johnny Depp, leading to his demise from grace over the years.
With his back to the wall and with nothing to lose after face, money and acting roles were running out, Depp rose from the ashes to be heard. Deciding to fight back, Depp, 58, has made headlines in court. The now seasoned actor in the social media war, appeared with a smile on his face, in the role of his life. He raised a 50-million-dollar defamation case against Amber Heard to get his name and life back. This time he fought as a father defending his name, as a friend to many who had sought his advice in the past, and to tell his fans he was still the man they knew.
In court, he was asked a simple question. ‘Why did you wait so many years to fight back?’. Depp liked the question and simply said it was because he was advised not to and also because of his father. Depp’s dad had put up with abuse from Depp’s mother and took it. Now it was Depp’s turn to do the same and try to succeed and save the marriage. He said he did not want to fail. It was a universal story of every man and woman who cared for something.
The Amber-Depp love affair devolved into a low-life bicker; a far cry from the perfect love affair one would imagine from such a Da Vinci face as that of Amber in The Rum Diary (2011) opposite Johnny Depp. That shattered love affair in the West shocked millions, just as the shocking end in the East to the marriage of singer Shereen Abdel Wahab. Fans had celebrated Shereen’s unbridled show of love for her former husband, only to see her crying on stage in agony over a mysterious betrayal, cutting her hair to burp her pain in public, and declaring her divorce from a once-beloved husband. Shereen wanted to be heard not canceled by the divorce. Johnny Depp wanted his life and took on the whole cancel culture on his own. Soraya Esfandiary, the former queen consort, hurt, alone, and in exile fought back the humiliation of rejection over her infertility and decided to work as an actress to find a voice.
In our modern times, three voices are in the forefront trying to win back their names against cancel culture; media personality Piers Morgan, author J. K. Rowling, and actor Johnny Depp.
Depp’s standalone is such a reminder of author Eugène Ionesco in his famed visionary play, Rhinoceros written in 1959. One man who stood against an ignorant crowd was swamped.