The actor has previously been accused of domestic violence.
Rihanna is facing backlash ahead of her Savage X Fenty runway show (premiering on Prime Video Nov. 9) for casting Johnny Depp in this year's production as the first male to have a feature role. When word got out about Depp's participation in the show, fans of Rihanna's and her brands expressed their disappointment on social media. The Los Angeles Times initially confirmed the actor's appearance.
Earlier this year, Depp made headlines for his bombshell trial with ex-wife Amber Heard, who accused him of domestic abuse. Hashtags #AbuserxFenty and #DitchDepp started trending on Twitter. One user wrote, "Putting Johnny Depp on your show adds ZERO value. Maybe shock value or a slight viral moment. But that’s it. Because the average millennial or generation z aren’t resonating with that man. So.."
Others pointed out Rihanna's own experience as a survivor of abuse. "The choice that @rihanna made is frustrating, but in protesting — please keep attention on Depp’s history of violence," one account tweeted. "There are no perfect victims, but Rihanna is still an abuse survivor, and I don’t want to invalidate that. #AbuserXFenty"
Music producer and activist Drew Dixon, a survivor of rape and sexual harassment, criticized Rihanna's decision in a tweet that shared an article depicting the man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi. "Johnny Depp has been embraced as a hero by unhinged right-wing misogynist extremists, and now he's been invited to appear in the @SavageXFenty show," she wrote. "Never expected such a powerful woman to succumb to the #MeToo backlash. Really disappointing @rihanna"
Podcaster and gender equity advocate Farrah Khan shared her thoughts in a tweet that also included a quote from Depp's texts about Heard which were uncovered during the trial.
"'Let's burn her. Let's drown her before we burn her.' Of all the men to highlight, Johnny Deep is who you choose?!" she wrote. "Come on #SavagexFenty #AbuserxFenty."
Rihanna and Savage X Fenty have yet to address the claims.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
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