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The Backlash of the MeToo Movement After Johnny Depp’s Victory

Johnny Depp defeated Amber Heard in his defamation case after she accused him of abusing her. Depp claimed that Heard had abused him and lied about it, and the jury appeared to agree with him. The seriousness of a case involving domestic abuse and assault deteriorated into memes and TikTok clips making fun of Heard. And spreading insulting and abusive hashtags and online campaigns. This has greatly exacerbated the MeToo movement’s pushback. One could argue that the court’s decision in favor of men ended the cultural moment. It began when women began speaking up against the powerful men they said had mistreated them.

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 There Is A History Of Backlash Against Feminist Movements:

Every wave of feminist activism is met with resistance. The Equal Rights Amendment defeat in the 1970s due to the reactionary work of Phyllis Schlafly and her allies. The purity-obsessed Bush-era society replaced the girl-power attitude of third-wave feminism in the 1990s. And now, five years after the Me Too campaign entered its most visible phase with Harvey Weinstein’s ouster in 2017. Fourth-wave feminism has seen its backlash as a result of Johnny Depp’s success against Heard.

How Did Johnny Depp And Amber Heard’s Trial Affect The MeToo Movement?

● A criminal trial was not the source of Depp’s success. It started with a civil lawsuit. Heard published an editorial piece in 2018 saying that she has spoken up against sexual abuse and had faced our culture’s wrath. This needs to change. Heard describes herself as “a public person representing domestic abuse” there, although she never addresses Depp. Depp claimed that Heard had made a direct reference to him and that this amounted to defamation, and the jury agreed.

● This court ruling suggests that anyone who claims, “I was abused,” can be held accountable as a liar. And is likely to discourage other domestic violence victims from coming forward.

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● The MeToo movement may derail because women would be reluctant to share their experiences anymore given the misogyny the Aquaman actress subject to throughout the trial by Depp’s fans online.

● Numerous Me Too supporters, including Taika Waititi, Ashley Benson, and Bella Hadid, have liked Depp’s jubilant Instagram post. It appears to be a reaction contrary to the movement.

● According to Depp’s supporters, his victory does not signal the end of the Me Too campaign but rather its growth. Depp claims that he, not Heard, is the genuine victim of domestic abuse in this case. And as a result, his supporters contend, he is assisting in eradicating the stigma associated with men who identify as abuse victims. According to the story, this trial is a necessary corrective to the #BelieveWomen hashtag that was popular in the heady early days of MeToo. The goal is to trust all victims, including male victims, rather than just women.

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● One of the implications of the Me Too movement was that abusers do not have to be flawless to receive punishment and that even those who have acted horribly may not deserve it. 

Hence, The gains of Me Too cannot increase by Depp’s victory. The vocabulary of Me Too has been cynically appropriated and used to achieve its goal. Yes, each wave of feminism may greet with opposition. But the fact that this one came so fast or with such clarity is upsetting.