LOS ANGELES: Embattled Hollywood star Johnny Depp said he is a victim of cancel culture and that "no one is safe" any more. Depp addressed a press conference at the San Sebastian Film Festival on Wednesday where he was scheduled to receive the honorary Donostia Award, reported Deadline.
"It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air," he said ahead of receiving the honour.
Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles.
"It's so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe. It takes one sentence and there's no more ground, the carpet has been pulled. It's not just me that this has happened to, it's happened to a lot of people. This type of thing has happened to women, men. Sadly at a certain point they begin to think that it's normal. Or that it's them. When it's not," he added.
Last year, when Depp lost the high-profile libel case with a UK tabloid over its branding of him as a "wife-beater", the actor was dropped from the "Fantastic Beasts 3", the multimillion film franchise from Warner Bros.
Mads Mikkelsen replaced him as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the film titled "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore", slated to be released in April. Depp also has a whopping USD 50 million defamation lawsuit against former wife, actor Amber Heard scheduled to go to trial in the US next year.
"Aquaman" star Heard is pursuing a USD 100 million counterclaim.
"It doesn't matter if a judgement, per se, has taken some artistic license. When there's an injustice, whether it's against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in - stand up, don't sit down. 'Cause they need you," Depp said in what appeared to be a reference to his legal troubles.
One of the members of the press attending the conference addressed the criticism of the festival for handing Depp a Donostia, particularly from Spain's Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, which released a statement saying the award "transmits a terrible message to the public".
Before the actor could respond, the host of the event rejected the question out of hand and told the media to stick to questions about his career. Depp later admitted he was concerned that his presence at the festival this year "would offend people" and that he "didn't want to offend anyone".
He praised the event, its director Jose Luis Rebordinos, and the mayor of San Sebastian for their "undying support". "I haven't done anything, I just make movies," Depp added.
Asked about his views on Hollywood in recent years, the actor said the showbiz has "grotesquely underestimated the audience". "Hollywood is certainly not what it was. The studio system, the grudge matches, the pandemonium and chaos of cinematic releases to streaming, it is a case of, 'no matter what, I'm going to get mine'. That's where these people are coming from," he said.
"They realise they're just as disposable as I am. Some more so. Large, large corporations take control of these things. As someone who takes part in the creation of cinema, how much more formula do we need from the likes of studios? How much more condescension do we need as audiences?" he asked.
French star Marion Cotillard also received a Donostia Award on the festival's opening day last week. The San Sebastian International Film Festival, held in northern Spain, will run through Saturday.