There’s a cesspool of grossness exiting in Hollywood right now, with more allegations about awful behaviour, sexual abuse and all-around misogyny popping up every single day. Sometimes you’re surprised by the news (Matt Lauer?! Jeffrey Tambor?!) whereas other times the stories you hear just make you want to shake your head and marvel at how this has been going on for so long.
Well here’s how: by people sweeping said behaviour under the rug, making excuses for it or flat-out victim-blaming/shaming.
David Yates, the director of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel reminded us all of that today, when he defended star Johnny Depp against the reports of abuse alleged by Depp’s former wife Amber Heard.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Yates first addressed the latest Hollywood happenings by calling them “compelling and frightening” and pointing out that there are “a lot of people being accused of things… by multiple victims.”
He then went on to address the situation with Depp specifically, defending his star with the worst kind of defence: “With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see,” he said. “Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”
“It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”
Well excuse us. We didn’t realize that one woman’s word — one woman whose statements were backed up by legal divorce documents, by the way — wasn’t enough to confirm that she had been assaulted. Apparently it really does take multiple people coming forward for action to be taken these days.
At least we aren’t the only ones enraged by this carefully crafted BS. Fans of Fantastic Beasts have been pretty vocal about not wanting Depp to be a part of the movie ever since he was announced in the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the first place, but now they’re taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure once again following these comments.
— Colette Fahy (@colettefahy_) November 28, 2017
— Render Please (@renderplease) November 28, 2017
Terrible response from Yates. This is EXACTLY why victims of abuse are still afraid to speak up. It doesn’t matter how many people someone abuses- 1 or 10, it’s STILL abuse. #AmberHeard #JohnnyDepp #DavidYates https://t.co/YB7Re06Wfp
— Gwendolyn Lee (@Gwendolyn__Lee) November 28, 2017
Just cause your guy friend is good to you, another guy, that doesn’t mean that they’re like that with women. I’ve heard ‘I didn’t think he was like that’ far too many times as someone disagrees with what I’ve personally experienced. #DavidYates #johnnydepp #ergh
— alli parker (@alli_and_that) November 29, 2017
this goes out to all the masses of unconditional Harry Potter fans young and old, be a generally nice person and you can do whatever the fuck you want in your personal life (as long as only one person reports you) #FantasticBeasts #JohnnyDepp #davidyates
— Mark James (@markjamesiscool) November 28, 2017
News flash to David Yates and men like him: abusers are normal men, just like you. They are nice men. They are ordinary men. They beat women. They intimidate women. And they are so, so normal. #davidyates #FantasticBeasts2 #notmygrindelwald
— Laura Hochban (@LauraHochban) November 29, 2017
ppl like #davidyates are precisely why things go unpunished in the industry, making excuses based solely on their own interactions with ppl. fuck him, fuck #JohnnyDepp & fuck those lame ass harry potter prequels.
— John Smith (@1rylpydr) November 28, 2017
Given the overall popularity of the Harry Potter franchise we’re sure this won’t stop fans from going to see the movie, whether they’re disgusted by Depp’s casting and Yates’ comments or not. But at the same time, isn’t seeing it kind of supporting Depp and now Yates, who is so keen on defending him? We’re so torn.
Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has been so far mum on the subject, despite hordes of fans calling on her for her opinion. Somehow we can’t see the writer — a staunch defender of those without a voice, both with her social work and in her actual writing — endorsing this kind of behaviour. Then again, we wonder if she has a choice.
And the sad, sad cycle continues… It seems like not even Harry Potter is safe anymore guys.