Prejudice in media/opinion articles

New York Post’s «Why does Johnny Depp still have a career?» or as it was previously titled «Johnny Depp will soon be as reviled as Bill Cosby» is going to be my today tear-it-down-and-loving-it-piece of the day.

«SINKING TO NEW DEPPS»  is the printed version title. (unless an opinion piece has three titles you’re doing it wrong)

whole article.PNG

It is an opinion article. So I’m just going to share my opinion on it.

Which title do you think is worse? The first or second?

I don’t know much about the Bill Cosby case, only that many women accused him of drugging them and sexually assaulting them. Recently, his case ended in a mistrial.

I won’t go searching for what happened in that case. For one reason and one reason alone:  it is a different case than Johnny Depp’s. Regardless if Cosby is guilty or not (he wasn’t found guilty), there were more than one woman accusing him for sexual assault.

In Johnny Depp’s case, which didn’t go to trial, it was one woman who accused him of domestic violence. The whole case was his ex wife asking for a restraining order and the hearing never took place because she withdrew her request.

Two totally different cases put in one title because… apparently it saddles «the rich and the famous men of show business together as the big bad men who abuse women» in one go. Both the men and the women become «the face of» a social problem instead of individuals of certain cases. We don’t research, criticise each case individually (oh no no no! that’s «victim blaming, victim shaming & abuse apologism»)

First title had no happy end and changed into «Why does Johnny Depp still have a career?» And if your reaction to it is «Why shouldn’t he have a career?» the author educates us on the subject matter.

To be quite honest, you could read my «Trial by media/social media» entry & be done with it as Ms. Wright managed to add everything I describe there in her article.

So let’s dissect it, shall we?

The author mentions Johnny Depp’s joke about the President’s assassination just becauseit’s led many to wonder if this will end his career.’

By «many» the author means Trump supporters.

  1. Johnny Depp apologised for his joke. Not many people do that nowadays. Most importantly the President of the United States doesn’t do it today. And boy, does he have many things to apologise for! Sure he has, just look in his twitter if not his political actions.
  2. Does the author care about Trump supporters? Unless, she’s one of them I doubt it.

«Why does Johnny Depp still has a career?»

&

«Johnny Depp is an increasingly incompetent actor who probably, in my view, beat his ex wife.»

Why Johnny Depp shouldn’t have a career? Because of two reasons:

See how she phrases this? She mentions two things:

a. Johnny Depp is an increasingly incompetent actor, which we should take as fact because of

b. in her view, beat his ex wife.

a.versus b.

one is stated as fact (let’s be clear here) one is stated as opinion (in my view).

The author keeps herself safe from a libel lawsuit. Because she’s coward that way and no one can sue her for thinking Johnny Depp is a bad actor, but he sure as hell can sue her for stating as fact he beat his wife. But, let’s be clear here, she does take it as fact.

And we continue with the same old, fairy tale that showed no dragon, no Wicked Witch of the West and definitely no Dorothy either.

«I’ll get you, my pretty- and your little dog too! HAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA»

She continues with the recent (May 2017) court docs, in which Mr. Depp’s ex managers claim “the actor had gotten physical with Heard and violently kicked her”.

I never wrote an entry about the recent legal docs because I never thought anyone would or could take them seriously. They come from the people Mr. Depp sued for mismanaging his money and fraud. But people/media did take them seriously. The exact same people never considered to write about Mr. Depp’s side/legal docs in the PRO case and take them as seriously. I wonder why…. I know why.

In this case, and while the trial is still on, when journalists take anything his former managers say as granted are…. that’s right, they «victim-shame» Johnny Depp.

Amber Heard’s legal documents from a year ago where she claimed she was abused are also brought to present and we continue with the tale of the strong heroine who fell victim of the vile man’s antics, but by the female power of hers she kept proof of the abuse (used to blackmail him), and then, transforming herself into a heavenly being donated the money she took from big bad villain to poor children…. (as far as we know she hasn’t yet).

But that was not the end, because in this fairy tale there was no happy ending & the big bad society still called our lovely heroine a gold digger who tried to blackmail big bad Depp.

According to the author of the article the extortion letter our heroine’s lawyer sent to our villain’s lawyer is a figment of our imagination. Yep, we imagined it. Never happened.

The worst part in this?

«If you ever wonder why women in abusive relationships are reluctant to come forward, this is why. They get defamed even when they have documented proof.»

This is where my blood starts boiling. If any victim did what Amber Heard did (extort while still living in his house with no Temporary Restraining Order, sell her proof, ridicule him, call the police when he sent his people to get his stuff from his place & openly lying about his charitie’s interests* among other things) and there was an abuser in her life, things wouldn’t have ended well for her. Amber Heard had some questionable (because she sold them to tabloids) texts, photographs and a heavily edited video never examined by any court expert circulating the internet and earning money of it. And her BFFs claiming they saw the aftermath of the abuse. Police, impartial witnesses were on his side. But, but, but…. big bad Depp. He probably paid them to lie. No wait, his ex managers also claim he’s broke. So he had to follow a different method and he had «pressured and berated his assistant to falsely challenge» her claims. Say the ex managers. Upcoming citizens that they are, we believe them. Same as we believed the ear piece little thing and heroised the other heroine, Ms. Chastain. And was proven it was a lie. Alas, who cares?

«Women get defamed even when they have documented proof»

What do they -men or women- use this documented proof for is another matter alltogether that never comes into debate nowadays. Amber Heard’s «documented proof» was never examined by experts. I’m going to repeat this until my fingers bleed, if I have to. A woman’s safety is important. A man’s reputation, job prospects ruined over false accusations is just as important. We need to know if the accusations are true or not. The only way to know is for the «documented proof» to be examined by forensic scientists. And Ms. Heard never let (yes, she didn’t permit it) anyone to examine her «documented proof». This isn’t me defaming her. This is me expecting to treat everyone’s lives equally.

And there’s the detail of his own evidence that the court didn’t see because she dropped her PRO request.

Who cares about his proof? Who cares if he is the victim here? Who cares if the police saw no evidence of abuse? Who cares if Mr. and Mrs. Deuteurs support Mr. Depp? Who cares if Ms. Heard sold her evidence to tabloids? Who cares if she did try to blackmail  Mr. Depp and only yelled abuse when he refused her demands? Who cares if she never showed any kind of fear of him but tried to control and ridicule and destroy him publicly? Who cares if she dropped her PRO request a few days before its hearing when her «documented proof» of her abuse would be examined? His evidence too? Who cares if several months later she wanted to reopen the case to get more money?

Not the author of this article, that’s for certain. There’s the heroine and there’s the big bad wolf and no one can question those roles.

«Historically, a lot of excuses were made for great artists who were also abusive toward women. (Here’s looking at you, Roman Polanski.) But Johnny Depp isn’t a great artist.»

Yes, she went there; she went to Roman Polanski’s case. Because, again if we can’t deal with this case alone we bring a lot more cases to prove our point.

Historically…. we can start from ancient Greece when Aspasia was being called names as Pericles’ partner to… well,  Amber Heard.

«Maybe he was a truly great talent before he started spending $30,000 a month on wine (again, according to his former business managers). But for the last decade he’s lurched from failure to mediocrity to failure.»

VICTIM SHAMING, victim shaming, victim shaming…. like big victim shaming.

You know talent goes away when people stop watching you? With this kind of thinking people like Kim Kardashian are far more talented than Johnny Depp. What? I follow the author’s -kind of ridiculous- train of thought. Also, screw you, the Tourist was nice.

Tom Cruise and Leo DiCaprio are awful actors and I don’t want to keep seeing them in movies. I ask for them not to have a career any longer. You are not taking me seriously, are you? That’s what I expected. However, the author of the article expects to be taken seriously.

«Is it because you once loved the swashbuckling Jack Sparrow when he burst onto the high seas 14 years ago? Trust me, there’s another actor out there who can wear a ton of black eyeliner and dreadlocks who doesn’t treat women like crap. If you want him to talk like Johnny Depp, give him $30,000 of wine a month and see what happens.»

Is it? Is it? Yeah, you in the back who dared to raise your eyebrow in disbelief! Did you defame Ms. Heard, did you unquestionably, stupidly, fangirlily (sic) defend the big bad Johnny Depp because 14 years ago you fell in love with Jack Sparrow? Shame on you -and your friends and family and future kids- because that’s not a difficult thing to do. Thousands of actors could do it; just put make up on them, dreadlocks and let them drink lot’s of rum, sorry, wine, and there you have it! Johnny Depp who? Plus the thousands other actors won’t treat women like crap. Because Amber Heard, as the only woman who ever accused Johnny Depp of anything, is «women». As I said, both actors become the «face of». No longer individuals, but the face of «heroic women» and «villainous men».

Cool. I wonder how come Disney didn’t think about it. I mean, Disney pays him to play Jack Sparrow. How come if he’s so easily replaced, such a bad actor, such a failed artist movie studios still want him? And… seriously, say you’ve got a painter who sold his ten paintings for millions of dollars but then people stopped buying his paintings. Should he stop paint? Should he stop doing what he loves because of a «journalist» opinion? What the hell is wrong with media people nowadays? How far up their own bum are they to consider their opinions as unquestionable truths?

«At the very least, maybe we could try not casting miscreants as role models in kids’ movies. And it would be great if David Yates, the director of “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” did not defend casting Depp by saying, “you’re a star one week, people are saying odd things the next, but no one takes away your pure talent.”

Yates’ decision is not going to age well.»

Most things don’t age well, Ms. Wright. Most men over fifty are treated like dirt by our generation, in case you haven’t noticed. Even if they haven’t done anything wrong, people will dig and dig to find something.

However, this is the edited version of the article. In the original, Ms. Wright wrote:

«At the very least, maybe we could try not casting miscreants as role models in kids’ movies. The Harry Potter franchise has done just that, replacing Depp with apparent nice guy Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequels.»

Yeah, yeah I know… This information was replaced when Johnny Depp’s fans pointed out the lack in researching skills the author exhibited by publishing as real an information created specifically for April 1st 2017, April Fools’ Day. That information was that «Benedict Cumberbatch replaced Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 2«. In the end of that article it was clearly mentioned it was a joke but you can’t believe how many people took it as truth and rejoiced. Proves how much they want to understand what they read. Back to the article, the author’s prejudice and hate didn’t permit her to do any proper research on the matter. Just like she didn’t do any proper research on the abuse claims. Just like she took her personal dislike of Johnny Depp as a universal one.

At the same time, she deleted all comments from her IG account that provided the other side of the story; the reasons why her report on the abuse accusation is faulty and one sided. She didn’t like having her lies/half truths being exposed so she deleted them. That’s how it is done in today’s media. Share lies, delete those who bring to light the other side.

«Years from now, if you show your grandkids Depp’s movies — whether it’s the horrible Willy Wonka remake or the terrible fourth instalment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” — it’s going to be like your dad playing Bill Cosby tapes right now. It’s going to make people recoil. And not in that smirking, jokey, Jack Sparrow kind of way. Because no one is finding this shtick funny anymore.»

Some years back, on International Children’s Book Day I organised a tribute to Roald Dahl. As part of the events, I screened «Charlie & the Chocolate Factory». Children from the age of 6 to the age of 17 loved the movie. While the movie was subtitled and 6, 7, 8 year old kids couldn’t read as fast as to follow the subtitles, their teachers in the end told me they hadn’t seen them as entertained before. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory isn’t a remake of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Both movies are adaptations of a book; «Charlie and the Chocolate Factory» written by Roald Dahl in 1964. But let’s be honest here, if Dahl lived today people like Ms. Wright would question his artistry as well, they might call him problematic and wonder why does he still write.

Apparently Ms. Wright thought the movie was a remake of another movie. Least of the facts she got wrong, truth be told

PotC: Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar’s Revenge has grossed over 700 million wordwide. But “no one is finding this shtick funny anymore”, right?

Where I am taking this? I have absolutely no trouble when someone says «I don’t like Johnny Depp.» I didn’t like Johnny Depp when the trendy thing was to adore the ground he walked on. I don’t like Tom Cruise or Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t like Rihanna or Beyonce. Tastes are like that. No one can dictate to me or you or anyone who they should like. I also don’t care if someone believes Johnny Depp is guilty of abusing Amber Heard. What I do care about is presenting their opinion as fact while writing down only one side of the story. It’s worse when said someone has a platform to share their opinion as fact and puts in danger someone’s job and reputation. It’s even worse when the other side of the story, not lies, but facts just Ms. Heard’s actions, Mr. Depp’s evidence and witness list etc, is described «as everything bad has happened to women historically».

It is dangerous, it is scary, it is fascistic.

What I do care is hiding information to promote the idea those who don’t believe Ms. Heard’s accusations are «responsible» for other people getting hurt.

What I do care about is covering personal bias and prejudice under the pseudo-morality of how women are treated badly by society. Women are not an entity. There are good women, there are bad women. There are good men, there are bad men. We are all humans.

In final analysis, and in regards to Mr. Depp, even if big studios stop hiring Mr. Depp, he’ll still be able to find work in smaller, indie productions, in European productions. Johnny Depp’s playground was never just America. He hasn’t been working in HW -and in the movie business- for over 3 decades because he used to be pretty. He’s been regarded as one of the most versatile actors in HW for a reason – even if Ms. Wright disagrees with it. After all, it is just her opinion.

It’s not the first time people in America try to ostracise an artist. They did it in 1952 to Charlie Chaplin. He had challenged the political beliefs of the time, he was controversial in ridiculing a regime whilst it consolidated power across Europe. Chaplin challenged American industries’ working methods and stood up against political acts, which were accepted under the guise of patriotism. So USA put him on exile under the guise of «family values» and «supporting communism». I have seen many young people calling him «problematic» as is the trend today and disregarding his work.

Johnny Depp made a joke about Trump. He apologised for it.

America may do it again; the hate directed at Johnny Depp from all sides is shocking to watch and once again is veiled by moral standards and deletion of the comments that question its sincerity. Free speech applies only to some. That’s not how democracy works.

 

_________________________

*Amber Heard openly lied about his charitie’s interests

 

“Amber Heard appreciates Johnny Depp’s novel interest in supporting two of her favourite charities… This is great and unexpected news,” said a spokeswoman for Heard.

versus the truth:

«Hollywood’s brightest stars will gather at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Saturday, Oct. 7, for the second Noche de Ninos Gala to benefit Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

[…]

«Johnny Depp embodies the very spirit of the `Courage to Care’ Award because he puts smiles on the faces of thousands of children through his great work on film, and his longtime private advocacy of children and children’s charities is nothing short of inspirational,» says Ms. Fernandez-Farrand.»

His «novel interest» had been awarded 10 years prior to its birth according to Ms. Heard’s spokeswoman. Spokeswoman… hm woman who lied! Is it possible?

«Anything less would be a transparent attempt by Johnny’s counsel, Laura Wasser and Patti Glaser, to reduce their client’s true payment by half under the guise of newfound concern for charities that he has never previously supported,» the statement continues.
[x]
Well, I guess women do lie occasionally.
Advertisements

Anorexia & beauty icons

How show business destroys lives.

The uncomfortable truth is media present a beauty image that is unattainable.

The beauty image changes through the ages, but since the second half of the 21st century female beauty consists of emaciated bodies and plastic faces. Fashion models and on a lesser degree actresses and tv presenters ought to be skin and bones to become the face of he industry.

A young, 38 year old woman died of anorexia yesterday. She was a reporter, started her tv career in her teens. She fought the illness for years. In the end, she couldn’t defeat it. There are many factors that make young people start to starve their body; ridicule of weight, bulluing, unattractiveness, the idea of being able to control something, anything, even if that is the food they consume. I wan’t insuate that I know what passes through their minds the first time they decide they are two fat and an apple is enough food to substain them, or the first time they throw up… or how that mindframe continues until their body shatters.

I know about my personal experience.

The first year I was in university after exams to be accepted, I was under severe stress. I lost about 5 kilos. At 1m 66 cm my weight was 46 kgs. I couldn’t eat anything. I remember drinking chocolate with whipped cream to get some calories because food was out of the question. Some time later my Mom told me she was thinking of taking me home. She was that worried.

 

My older brother was getting married that year. So I and a friend went to look for a dress for me to buy. I put on only one. Its colour was coral, medium asymmetrical length with straps. It was early March so I was wearing thick black tights. It didn’t actually fit, but had a class soon after and didn’t want to take them off. That wasn’t my problem though.

My problem was on the bust and straps. Back then & today, I think it looked awful. I was too skinny. I was too thin and the dress didn’t fit at all. Both the saleslady and my friend complimented me, said it looked great.

Trust me, it didn’t. And I knew it. I know what kind of clothes look good on me and what don’t. But I am thin. So it looked good. If you know what I mean?

But the thing is they tried to make me believe it looked good on me when it didn’t. For the sales lady, it was her job. She wanted to sell the dress. For my friend, who was heavier than me, I probably looked good? I don’t know. I doubt that thing looked good even to her. But she tried to be kind?

Don’t be kind.

Tell things as they are.

I wasn’t anorexic. I probably have a disorder, eating or something else, even to this day, but it doesn’t last as long as back then. I could see how I looked, but I just couldn’t swallow any food. Only liquids. It took five years to reach 50 kilograms. It’s not easy. Not even when your own brain & body doesn’t work against you.

Just because fashion industry hires teenagers with children’s bodies as models & pushes them to stop eating and «helps» them to grow old before their time doesn’t mean they love you. Or me. Or a woman over 20, 30, 40. Your body at 45 most probably won’t be the same as it was in your teens. A normal teenage girl will eat chocolate and icecream and a burger and more. An apple is just not enough.

Being thin may be what is considered beautiful today. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Learn to love yourself and be healthy.

Being healthy is priceless.

 

Movies versus film critics

I’ve read this article written by Mr. Buchanan, who felt there was a need to defend film reviewers in regards to their reviews, critics if you prefer. I know you do. I’m 100% certain film critics agreed with it. Why not, after all?

Don’t blame critics when your blockbusters are bad

I will tell you why not. I’m a librarian, I work (or used to) with books. There are books I like, there are books I don’t like. I make my living from books. It would be different if I was a book critic (trust me, I can do that too). Say, I’m reviewing a book. Poetry. Lord Byron. Right? «She walks in Beauty» and all that… knowing the poet’s background is nice. It helps me understand his time and place in society, his thoughts and ideas better. And then, I criticize his work. Not his life or his background, or his death….

Still with me?

For one thing, I couldn’t care less about Baywatch so I’m going to leave that out of this little piece of critic.

A year ago, I would most probably not particularly care about Pirates of the Caribbean either. I would wait for some TV station to air it so I could watch it. Or not. After all, I only watched the three sequels last year.

I’m starting with the title of the article. Mr Buchanan says «not to blame critics when your blockbusters are bad«. Tell you what, I agree. There are some really, really bad blockbusters, same as there are really, really bad indie films. It’s just that studios have spent more money in blockbusters because they thought they would get their money back. The only way to get their money back is for people to go watch their movies. Film critics are in no way obligated to write a good review so studios  get their money back.

And that’s where my agreements with the article end. Because he then starts to explain his reasoning and… boy is it in a wrong way or what?

What should film reviews be about? In my very humble opinion, film reviews are about the movies, their technical parts, their script, their director, their cast (and by this, I mean acting).

The fact that Mr. Buchanan felt he had to defend his profession against the big, bad studios that are the only reason he actually has a job as a film reviewer is telling of the fact something’s wrong.

And if you didn’t understand what I wrote, if the studio’s accusations weren’t founded on something, he would have whistled indifferently and written nothing. Which would have been the decent thing to do, all things considered. But decency is not something found in media nowadays.

«Blaming the press for their own missteps and then threatening to suspend all access if coverage isn’t positive? Okay, I spoke too soon: Now we’re really wading into Trump territory. To blast critics for the failures of these movies is like blasting your dentist for noticing a cavity, and there were plenty of problems with both Baywatch and Pirates before they ever screened for press.»

Oh look: Studios consider reviewers responsbible for some movies failing in the box office.

Mr. Buchanan disagrees  and puts the blame of these two films’ failure (sic) on three things (that are not the press): marketing, stars, quality.

  1. Marketing.

«Domestic audiences can smell the cynical cash grab.»

As opposed to international audiences who are stupid to the bone and went to watch PotC5 that had a gross of 285 millions on the first week of the movie’s release?

I can see why he calls PotC5 a failure.

No, wait. I can’t. It had the 12th best opening ever. (Overseas. Outside of America, where we are stupid, according to Mr. Buchanan, apparently.) For a fifth film of a «tired, boring, no one wants to watch» franchise it did rather well. Not, for Mr. Buchanan, who indeed has an agenda.

  1. The stars

«Little more needs to be said about Depp’s waning star appeal, which had already been whittled down by flops like The Tourist and Transcendence but took a further hit after spousal-abuse allegations and headlines about profligate spending. If people don’t even want to see your full face on a billboard anymore, they won’t rush to see it in theatres, either.»

See explanation above about 1. and laugh. Hard. It is funny.

Also to further point out the fact that I’m a dimwit for Mr. Buchanan, I admit I really like Transcendence despite the fact it was a flop. (The Tourist wasn’t really a flop, but let’s not contradict Mr. Buchanan.) *

  1. Quality.

Yeah, I agree. It’s not as if awful movies have done greater than great in box office. No way, domestic audience is smart that way. Transformers, Twilight saga, 50 shades of whatever etc… to name a few. DCEU has some of them too. (But we can’t say that right now because Wonder Woman is the wonder of modern cinema, according to the very same critics)

I forgot to mention Mr. Buchanan’s explanation over why PotC5 is a bad movie in regards to quality. Read and weep.

«As for Pirates, if Depp can barely be bothered to go to set and is giving such a phoned-in performance that he’s allegedly being fed lines via earpiece, what reason is there for anyone else to be giving this enterprise their best work? These movies are only being made now so the invested principals can afford more houses; they aren’t being made to please audiences, and they certainly aren’t bombing because critics didn’t like them. Give us a good movie, and we’ll support it. Give us a bad one, and audiences won’t need critics to confirm their palpable disinterest.»

Seriously, this is his reasoning over why Dead Men Tell No Tales is a bad film.

Mr. Buchanan isn’t even trying to defend film reviewers any longer. He’s jumping on the same, lame bandwagon of hating Mr. Depp over allegations that were never proven. PotC5 is bad because of Mr. Depp. The whole of the movie’s quality is down to him being late and being unable to learn his lines (the latter has been debunked by Mr. Depp’s own boss btw, but who cares?)

To further demonstrate my point, I made the effort to go to rotten tomatoes and check some of the reviews about PotC5.

Review. from New York Post, written by Sara Steward:

Depp should walk the plank for disastrous new ‘Pirates’

It begins:

«Welcome to the fifth — and, Davy Jones willing, the last — installment of this franchise: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Johnny Depp Is Bad With Money.”

It’s a little less cute these days to watch his Jack Sparrow swish about drunkenly, knowing the actor’s been accused of being an abusive lush. Equally wearisome is the spectacle of a once-entertaining franchise staggering around, devoid of purpose.»

All extremely professional.

and it ends:

» But the real ugliness here is sheer Hollywood greed — which, like a crew of cursed skeleton pirates, seems destined to live on forever.»

Yes, as opposed to all other films made in studio that do it from the goodness of their heart. Ms Steward’s favourite movies are those you get to see in the cinema for free and studios don’t get any money.

…and truth be told I didn’t go any further. Not that I didn’t want to read all other negative (and positive) reviews, but the one above turned my stomach.

Articles upon articles upon articles written about the «diminishing allure» of the movie’s protagonist and how boring & stale the franchise is. Add to that, the authors writing proud articles about why not us nor Hollywood can forgive Mr. Depp (over one thing or another) because apparently audiences and the press have definitely replaced the law.

It’s not as if some film reviewers haven’t spent time and effort to bash the protagonist on their twitter accounts showing the professionalism of a radish.

In my opinion, Mr. Buchanan’s article was unnecessary.

It also proved that what he denies actually happens.

No! PotC5 is not a failure, but film critics would have loved it to be.

Why?

Is it their job to decide which movie has to be a success? Or is it their job to professionally review a film? Not according to agendas, but according to a movie’s quality. And leave it there.

Press, in general, and not only film critics made a huge effort so Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar’s Revenge be a failure, not only critically but financially as well. They succeeded in the first…

We see them trying hard to make Wonder Woman a success.

The thing is they are so transparent it almost hurts. They have no credibility left. None whatsoever.

And I say this as someone who spent her teenage years dreaming of becoming a film reviewer.

Because I loved films, not because I had the idea of controlling studios or propagating ideas and movements. I was naive that way.

Film reviewers should sit back and remember what their job is; it is not to instruct the audience what to watch; it is not to dictate which film should fail… it’s just to review it.

 

*

Flops:

  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Fight Club (1999)

etc

PS. I still think the fact they try to present Wonder Woman as the best thing in movies is worse than PotC’s rating in Rotten Tomatoes.

 

 

 

Opinion

The problem with Johnny Depp’s spending habits

or maybe the problem with Johnny Depp’s missing money

or maybe a whole different kind of problem.

If I am to think about it, and unfortunately media do their best to remind me every once in a while, there’s a dual problem in regards to Johnny Depp’s alleged financial problems.

  1. The way he spent it.
  2. The way his ex managers spent it.

And there’s one more little problem; what’s that got to do with me (me as the entity of readers)

To explain it further.

I am the kind of person who thinks certain professions are overpaid. True, I’ve never been an athlete or a singer or an actor, but to be quite honest the money (some of) these professionals receive are astronomical. And while I can make a long (rather socialistic, if you like) comment about the scourge of capitalism, bottom line is these industries are rich. People are willing to pay for a football game, a concert, a movie and all their paraphernalia. In final analysis, if the athlete/artist isn’t paid well all money will go to studios.

Why?

If I’m paying good money to go to the cinema to watch Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr etc why shouldn’t they get the money? (I would prefer a paying method that would include experience, talent etc as well, but no one asks me. And truth be told the ones I mentioned would still get the money because I’m clever that way).

Now that we have the overpaid aspect of the subject aside, let me continue with my very important opinion of if I see the way another rich guy spends his money I’m going to move to a mountain top and build a cabin to live there on my own.

Dear rich people, I don’t live through you and quite frankly your spending your money insults me on a deep, personal level in the manner that I have no money to spend. So stop it. Keep your money, spend it as you like but stop flaunting it on my face. It makes me uncomfortable (and rather stanning for communism… well no, but you get my point, I hope).

If the press and rich people alike one day decide to stop showing me their houses, their swimming pools, their dresses, watches, the thousands pairs of shoes they have in a separate closet and how much they spend to eat in expensive restaurants I will greatly appreciate it.

1.

The difference in what I describe above and in the case of Johnny Depp’s mysteriously missing money is that Depp never flaunted his money. Yes, he bought houses and an island. I have seen the odd picture of his island taken from an aeroplane. I haven’t seen his houses; I haven’t seen the richness he surrounds himself with. Until he was forced to sell some of his homes. Don’t get me wrong, die hard fans may know every little detail of his home, but unless he called the photographers to show to people how he lives, I have absolutely no problem if he will actually spends money to buy cotton balls. It’s his money.

When he sued his ex managers, they decided instead of defending themselves to make their client’s personal information public.

And therein lies my problem. It was not Johnny Depp who showed off his money to us. It was the people who are sued by him for mismanaging his money. I cannot for the life of me understand how these people still have any clients left (if they have any clients left) when they showed no confidentiality whatsoever. If they can prove their claims it was all his fault, take him to court prove your case and have him boiling with rage. Of course, my old time favourites, the media, are really helpful too when it comes to airing dirty laundry, even if it’s proven the laundry was clean and fresh, like the earpiece story that Jerry Bruckheimer and Geoffrey Rush debunked joyfully. (And where is Jessica Chastain’s apology? Lost in translation, I would guess.)

If it wasn’t enough that we know how Johnny Depp spent his money, now there are stories about Mr. Depp’s family members actually shoving their hands in his pockets. I understand it’s a story that sells. I understand that media -despite protestations and long, boring articles trying to convince us of the exact opposite- know Johnny Depp’s name sells, but he’s a human being.

And you know family betrayal or not, some times if we are human we should respect a person’s private life.

In final analysis, the problem isn’t Mr. Depp’s missing money, but everyone’s attempt to dehumanise him and make him a story. Or ten stories. I feel something between guilty and dirty knowing all this personal information of his. It’s none of my business; it’s none of your business either. It’s his problem, it’s his life, his family and friends, his money, his ex managers; it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of humanity.

Let him deal with it. With as much decency and privacy he can master.

 

Now is happening to him. Next time is going to happen to someone else. And because gossip is part of our daily life, if it ever happens to you, you may only hope people around you won’t care enough to air your family secrets, betrayals and pains out in the open.

____________________________________

Raise your hand if you were surprised by the opinion’s subject.

To scapegoat…

or not to scapegoat? That is the question.

Also, there is something rotten in the kingdom of media.

It has come to my attention that the only times I sit down and write a blog entry recently is in one or another way related to Johnny Depp. What can I say? I’ve grown rather fond of him lately. Or I just dislike scapegoating (can I make it a verb? Screw it, of course I can; we live in the digital era and correct grammar and syntax is unnecessary. By the way, and after a research of a second I knew it is a verb thus the title on top) him… if you know what I mean.

And hypocrisy. Heaven knows I hate hypocrisy.

What is a scapegoat?

«A scapegoat is a person or animal which takes on the sins of others, or is unfairly blamed for problems.»

What is scapegoating?

«Scapegoating (from the verb «to scapegoat» -I can almost hear you laughing or see you rolling your eyes) is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. «he did it, not me!»), individuals against groups (e.g., «I couldn’t see anything because of all the tall people»), groups against individuals (e.g., «Jane was the reason our team didn’t win»), and groups against groups.

«A scapegoat may be an adult, child, sibling, employee, peer, ethnic, political or religious group, or country. A whipping boy, identified patient or «fall guy» are forms of scapegoat.»

It’s easier to recognise and possibly fight scapegoating if the object of it is a minority, or an underprivileged person. On the other hand, it has become popular and -as it seems- acceptable to scapegoat a white, rich, middle-aged male.

«People with Personality Disorders are particularly susceptible to showing dysfunctional differential treatment because they sometimes allow their feelings to override facts. This means their feelings become so intense that what they feel about a person or situation can receive more of their attention or take a higher priority than what they know about that person or situation. This can then lead to distortions in how they interpret a given situation which are then used to rationalize or justify the way they feel and the way they behave as a result.

Scapegoating can occur in all aspects of life, however, it is most clearly demonstrated and can be most destructive when the person showing favoritism has some form of power or authority over others, such as in parent-child, teacher-student and boss-subordinate relationships.»

And you are going to ask «come on, what’s that having to do with Johnny Depp?» Well, if you’ve read my previous entry you have already read me taking on media and their treatment of him. Or at least attempt to. I’m pretty certain media don’t care about my blog, damn them all.

Remember the Bean Pears’ article in slashfilm that wanted us to punish Johnny Depp, and I quote «it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than that for Depp to get back in the good graces of the rest of us» because of » the only thing we can do is continue to point it out and hope that the broader issue of domestic abuse is eventually looked down upon in an industry which has a notoriously noxious history with women»?

Of course you do. Remember, that is.

Basically the author doesn’t know if Johnny Depp actually abused his wife, but also disregards the fact he should be presumed innocent and wants to make him an example of a «broader issue«. Insert «scapegoating» definition.

So, this week was the world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (or Salazar’s Revenge, because, unless a movie has two titles is… seriously why does the movie has two titles?) and instead of being excited about it or not (personal opinions on franchise are welcome even if they are negative), we have his ex financial managers leaking stuff in magazines, tabloids, newspapers -unfortunately, I can no longer see any difference between the last two- and taken as more or less granted.

The latest story is that «Johnny Depp’s former managers have claimed the star is fed his lines through an earpiece so he doesn’t have to memorise his scripts

This information changed the course of my whole life.

No wait, it didn’t. I don’t particularly care. Acting is more than memorising lines, acting is… magical. Personally, as a student I couldn’t memorise a damn thing but I knew my subjects. I even understood them better than my fellow classmates who memorised them but had no clue what the hell they were about. If the teacher asked a question differently they couldn’t answer. But I digress…

Nevertheless, the rest of the groundbreaking story is that it comes from a new court filing in an increasingly bitter battle between the actor and his ex-managers. He’s suing them for mismanaging his money and they’re countersuing him. Among their claims about his spending, they say he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to employ a sound engineer to read him his lines on film sets. The actor has used the method «for years to feed him lines during film production«, according to a court document that was filed.

«Depp insisted that this sound engineer be kept on yearly retainer so that he no longer had to memorise his lines,» according to the papers, written by attorney Michael Kump on behalf of The Management Group’s Joel and Robert Mandel.»

So what do media do? They use this little titbit (I love to write little and titbit together even though titbit is more than enough; so sue me!) to ask a question to actress Jessica Chastain.

Mashable’s take on the issue:

«Johnny Depp spends an inordinate amount of money to have someone feed him his lines in an earpiece so he doesn’t have to memorize them. It’s one of those facts that seems to confirm that some things in the universe are exactly as they seem.»

They don’t question it. Like, at all! They take it as fact!  And their writer continues:

» Sort of like how Jessica Chastain shows up and does her job in a professional manner. When asked whether she has a trick for memorizing her lines, Chastain responds, “No, I guess my technique is working hard.”»

Huge applause for Ms. Chastain.

Jessica Chastain’s roll eye made headlines.

 

the independent.PNG

bbc en43

Seriously, I feel like I am the odd one out. Truth be told, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last, but I hated this. But hey! Making fun of Johnny Depp is trendy, no?

Admit it; it is.

I almost feel sorry for her too because she has a great film in Cannes Film Festival and media care more her rolling eyes at Johnny Depp. Do you wonder why? Because «Johnny Depp!» She made these particular headlines because of Johnny Depp whom everyone adores to hate at the moment; by «everyone» I mean media and social media.

Alternative #1: The whole thing is real. Johnny Depp has hired someone to tell him his lines in his ear piece. Unless said someone is acting in his place, I can’t see the problem. Especially, considering Johnny Depp is a. dyslexic (according to the internet, don’t take my word on it) and b. almost blind from one eye, according to the man himself

«His glasses are prescription, and he needs them badly, though they don’t do anything for his left eye. Since birth, he’s been «basically blind as a bat» in that one, in a way that’s impossible to correct. «Ev­erything is just very, very blurry,» he says. «I’ve never had proper vision.» The right eye is simply nearsighted (and lately, far-sighted). So whenever he’s acting – un­less he’s lucky enough to be in a scene where his character wears sunglasses – Depp can see only a few inches away from his face.»

If it was anyone else social media would be up to arms to call her out for ableism. As we said, it’s Johnny Depp though so «she’s Queen».

Alternative #2: The whole thing is BS with TMG running a smear campaign against their former client, something that is supported by Ms. Dunst interview from 2008 that Mr. Depp likes to listen to music when he acts.

«But Johnny Depp has music playing in his ear when he acts,» she said. «He has an ear bud. That’s why he’s so great.»

A decade ago, he was great, now?

On top of that, Brenton Thwaites, who co-stars with Depp in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean, said it was «impossible» he was having his lines fed through to him.

«I’d say it’s normal for older actors who have memory problems. Johnny’s too impulsive to do that, every take is different»

Hush now, child, we don’t care about that. Ad-libbing and improvising nonsense. Media have the true story.

Ms. Chastain took the gossip, rolled her eyes, and made herself to be studious and hardworking. As opposed to Johnny Depp being lazy? Whatever her intention, media took it as such. And she hasn’t corrected that impression yet. She hasn’t gone out to say the rolling eyes was because of the question and it was in no way directed at Johnny Depp. Let’s be honest here, the rolling eyes was directed at Depp. She and the media insinuated he’s too lazy to learn his lines.

And it’s so damn unprofessional.

If someone came to me and asked me how I work by stating how my colleague in the library next town works and I rolled my eyes at the sound of his name and then continued praising my work ethic, I would consider myself unprofessional. And lame. Kinda pathetic. Personal opinion here.

It’s easy. Ms. Chastain could have started her reply with: «People have different methods of working; whatever Johnny does works for him for over 30 years. To talk about me…» insults no one, demeans no one, accepts no gossip as truth. That’s not what she did.

Why?

Because it is easy to scapegoat Johnny Depp based on rumours. But damn it all to hell and back, it is not professional.

And it is not right.

 

Food for thought:

«Being publicly accused of a crime one did not commit could lead a person to jump off a bridge. Once the information is out there, defending yourself, clearing your name, fighting suspicion and tolerating disdain is a horrible predicament.

People with little information can form strong opinions and take unwarranted retaliatory action from expulsion from the clan to spreading the false word. In Jane Eyre, the cruel headmaster tells the girls to let no one be her friend, take her hand or comfort her. You get the sense that this is the worst for Jane, worse than the head blow and the lack of bread.

If the accusations are not true, the person is in a situation that is similar to being bullied. Even if one is rich, successful, famous or “has it all,” the psychological devastation can be ruinous. If you are not believed, if you cannot fight back with the true story, if now you are distrusted and under scrutiny, the sense of helplessness is overwhelming. People with inner vulnerabilities are easy targets. Others sense the fragility and find it thrilling to gang up or attack. Having a scapegoat can help a group form a strong bond and find meaning in what could be otherwise empty lives.»

 

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoat
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoating
  3. http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/favoritism
  4. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39778178
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-creativity-cure/201402/false-accusations-scapegoats-and-the-power-words

 

Trial by media/social media

Media/social media ethics or not

 

The principle is easy enough to understand; everyone has the same rights. Only, not really. Underprivileged and over privileged seem to not have any rights at all. Weird isn’t it? OK everyone knows underprivileged have to fight against poverty, for one thing. How can this compare to over privileged? Don’t get me wrong; it doesn’t. Fighting hunger is comparable to nothing.

However, many media nowadays have forgotten that over privileged people have the same basic human rights like the rest of us in the civilised, western world.

Rights like:

innocent until proven guilty

or

privacy (medical, financial etc)

or

even work

Let’s take Mr. Johnny Depp as an example. Until recently, one of the most loved, most acclaimed Hollywood actors. For the last half decade or so, numerous media articles have been publishing fabricated news in regards to him, and while this particular trend was always favourable to tabloids (loved celebrities means sales/clicks in paper or digital form) the intent to viciously attack him is kind of new.

Move forward to almost a year ago, in late May 2016, when his now ex-wife, after filing for divorce due to «irreconcilable differences» a week prior, appeared in court favouring a facial bruise and asking for a DVRO on the grounds of domestic violence, which was granted temporarily to her until the hearing would take place two weeks later, a hearing that got postponed for two months due to Mr. Depp’s ex wife’s resistance to being deposed, a hearing which never took place due to her withdrawing her request a few days before it should have taken place on August 11th.

Read more

Dos and Dont’s in domestic abuse

according to very famous divorce case of Mr. Johnny Depp and his soon to be ex wife Mrs. Amber Heard.

Harper’s Bazaar.co.uk made an aricle about Inspiring Women and Feminists in 2016

10 women who changed the world this year

«From Hillary Clinton to Amber Heard, we celebrate the women who inspired us in 2016»

ah-stupidity-hb

My personal opinion is that -regardless if you believe Amber Heard was abused by Johnny Depp or not- the above lines about Amber Heard and especially the last sentence is dangerous. For the abuse victims.

It’s been circulated among media outlets that Amber Heard did everything a victim was supposed to do and people still questioned her.

The problem isn’t that people questioned her. The problem is deeper and it can cause harm to victims/survivors of abuse.

Ella Alexander of Harper’s Bazaar writes «Her bravery and candour will doubtlessly help others in similar positions to come forward».

Let’s talk about protecting yourself from your abuser and compare it to Mrs. Heard’s actions.

1. Don’t alert your abuser if you are planning to leave.

Mrs. Heard sent a letter, not only alerting Mr. Depp she was asking for divorce, but also demanding spousal support, his range rover with Mr. Depp to continue to make all payments for any encumbrances thereon, his condos (the place she’s been systematically abuse since before their wedding) with Mr. Depp to continue to pay mortage utilities, etc associated therewith, and a contribution towards her accounting costs, to be paid to her lawyers’ firm by close of business of a certain date (the same date she asked for a TRO, because he refused to pay her)
Amber Heard’s letter to Johnny Depp’s lawyer before filing for a TRO

Let me rephrase the above, Mrs. Heard blackmailed/extorted her alleged abuser while he had free access in their home.

2. Call 911 and report the incident. Write down the police report/incident number and keep with your records.

Mrs. Heard (or her friend) called the Police, but didn’t file a report, didn’t press charges, didn’t report the incident as domestic violence.

Wouldn’t that just aggrevate an abuser more? She had no protection from the Police, and she was in his house.

3. Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.

Or make sure you don’t push their buttons while openly filming them. This isn’t victim blaming, it’s self protection. It’s one thing installing hidden cameras to record the abuse, and a whole different thing to have your mobile camera on your abuser’s face while your abuser aggressively cuts trees in the backyard attempting to remind them that besides the poor trees withstanding their aggression, you are there as well.

On top of that, do not embarrass your abuser by uploading the incriminating video in youtube while they still have access in their home.

4. File for a Protective Order that will tell your abuser to stay away.

Do not drop the Restraining Order request after making your abuser the ridicule of the town. It will most probably enrage them and you will not be safe.

I get it. It is totally great to feel a hero, putting your abuser down and making what they are known to everyone. But will that keep you safe? Will media care about you like they did for Mrs. Heard? How much will your abuser be angry if you do what she did?

Mrs Heard isn’t in the hospital (or in a morgue) only because she accused Mr. Depp and that’s for two reasons.

Because.

a. maybe there was no abuse from his part to begin with,
or
b. she has all the spotlight of the world on her, because she’s Mr. Depp’s ex wife.

Do NOT do what she did regardless of what you read in media. What she did was a fine way to enrage him and make him angry, not really asking for the Police’s protection, or even the Law’s protection (she dropped her RO request).

Have a safety plan. If your partner is abusive, have a plan to protect yourself and your children in case you need to leave quickly.
Try to find a way to put aside some money (blackmailing your abuser is not the best of ways to go about it), clothing, documents for the time you will have to leave your home. Find a place -friendly- to stay in emergency. Join a support group for survivors of domestic violence, get help from a therapist of hotlines. Take precautions not to be noticed by your abuser.

Stay safe.
You won’t be safe if you do what Mrs. Heard did.

The media that present what Mrs. Heard did as the right thing to do most probably don’t care about your safety. After all, you have not been married to Mr. Depp.

Protect yourself.

Instead of attempting to become a hero by the media, your first priority is safety.
http://msmagazine.com/blog/2015/10/30/what-to-do-in-a-domestic-violence-situation-a-guide-for-survivors-and-supporters/
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/domvic.htm
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-abused-and-battered-women.htm