Using a social media platform to create content and share opinions can be fun, but it can also foster surface-level thinking and mob mentalities.
Recently scrolling through my TikTok “For You” page, I’ve seen a lot of videos about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial. Depp sued Heard for $50 million, claiming her 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post defamed him — Heard countersued Depp for $100 million. In the end, the jury found they were both guilty but sided with Depp and awarded him much more money.
Many of the TikToks I’ve seen were reactions to jokes Depp made on the stand, analyses of Heard’s facial expressions and compilations of the “craziest moments” in the courtroom. It seemed many people were allowing Depp’s popular on-screen persona to overshadow his history.
@thedirens.journalling Johnny Depp funny moments at day 7 trial 😂😂 #justiceforjohnnydepp #johnnydeppedit #depptrial #johnnydeppisinnocent #funnyclip #court #johnnydepp ♬ original sound – ✨
@jcdeppii it’s too obvious who’s the guilty one💩 #johnnydepp #amberheard #justiceforjohnnydepp #fyp ♬ vibe for this year – joseph fagundes
While I don’t strongly support either side of the case, I’m disturbed by the way it’s being treated. I believe that not all of Heard’s claims are truthful, but Depp is not exempt from criticism — and it seems the jury felt the same way. It’s important to think about how real people’s lives are affected, and trials are not entertainment.