Being a Gryffindor, I believe, is not about being fearless. It’s not purely bravery. It’s true courage: it’s being scared and doing it anyway. So here’s where I admit that I am terrified of getting these words wrong, but I have to share them anyway.
A few weeks ago, Woody Allen was recognized at the Cannes Festival. I’ve only ever seen one of his movies and, even though I enjoyed it at the time, I can’t watch it anymore without feeling queasy. It makes me think of Dylan Farrow, and it makes my heart hurt.
In the same way, Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland are starting to remind me of Amber Heard, and that breaks my heart too.
Already there are people who’ve never met Johnny Depp wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt. Inevitably, in cases like this, that has to go somewhere. But my belief is that is belongs with Amber.
Statistically, only about 26-37 % turn out to be unsubstantiated. That’s not proven false, that’s just reports that can’t be proven either way. In this case, a judge thought there was proof enough, seeing as Heard was granted the protective order. Speaking out against an abuser is difficult in the best of situations–why put yourself through it, plus the media attention and public scrutiny in this instance, if you don’t have to?
But the fact that people need this much justification to believe a woman, especially considering she showed up to court with a bruise on her face, is troubling to me.
Of course, in some circles, there’s another argument: who cares? You think you can separate the man’s art from his private life.
This is not a matter of politics. This is not disagreeing with a creator’s opinions, which they all have a right to have. All the talent in the world does not give a person the right to abuse another human being. And continuing o support him and his movies suggests that it does. It says he can get away with doing this and no one is going to care. To me, it says that the victims’ pain matters less than what their abuser can do on a movie screen.
I’m not generally one for boycotts. There are a few companies I don’t support for various reasons, but I don’t tell others unless they ask. In this case, I’m making an exception: if you can stop shopping at Target because you disagree with the bathroom policy, you can skip a few movies a year to show that the talents of Woody Allen and Johnny Depp are not more important than the people they hurt.
I’ve often heard we “vote with our wallet,” and wondered if mine really makes much of a difference. Maybe it doesn’t. But even if that’s the case, even if all I’m doing is standing in solidarity and silence and no one else notices or cares, that’s enough for me. If that’s all I can do for Dylan Farrow and Amber Heard, then that’s what I’m going to do. Pirates be damned.