Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why we shouldn't accept Johnny Depp's apology for misusing the term "rape"

image is from here

My commentary follows this from HuffPo:
Vanity Fair on Tuesday released a small excerpt of their upcoming Johnny Depp cover article, hoping to generate buzz for their new issue ahead of its hitting newsstands. Mission accomplished.
In the short passage, the Oscar nominee and $100 million a year actor made a rare misstep, comparing participating in photo shoots to being raped.
"Well, you just feel like you're being raped somehow," he said. "Raped ... It feels like a kind of weird -- just weird, man."
The statement raised eyebrows and drew criticism, leading Depp to quickly issue a statement of apology and regret.
"I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling," Depp said in the statement. "I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful. In an effort to correct my lack of judgment, please accept my heartfelt apology."

I don't respect Johnny Depp because he's demonstrated on-going insensitivity and callousness to people who are negatively effected by misogyny and male supremacy. I don't accept his apology because Johnny Depp has publicly sided with a famously unconvicted rapist over the many who are actually raped. (And by "rape" here, I don't mean "being photographed for being a grossly overpaid white male celebrity.") He's done so with the case of child-raper, Roman Polanski. More on that in a moment.

He's fine with earning millions promoting both sexism and racism in his films--the Pirates of the Caribbean series being but one on-going example. He successfully works to support and maintain a pro-rapist white male supremacist culture, in no small part by not ever speaking out against famous and not-famous men who commit rape, and by not ever calling on all men to stop rape--whether or not they, individually, perpetrate it.

For more on his pro-rape views and values, I close this post with commentary by Alex DiBranco at 

Johnny Depp Defends Rapist

by Alex DiBranco · February 08, 2010

Johnny, you make such a sexy Captain Jack Sparrow. And there will always be a special place in my heart for Edward Scissorhands. I have to admit, your version of Willy Wonka was just a little too creepy for me, but that didn't make me cherish your pirating days any less. Unfortunately, you've lost all your charm (and your place in my fantasies) with your defense of a child rapist.
It doesn't matter that you've joined a chorus of celebrity voices defending Roman Polanski for raping a 13-year-old. It doesn't excuse your comments that Whoopi Goldberg claimed what happened to the girl wasn't "rape-rape," although I don't know what else you would call it when a middle-aged man pleads guilty to statutory rape -- and the other charges of rape, sodomy, and drugging are only dropped to protect the victim from a having to undergo a painful and sensationalized trial. Where, apparently, a chunk of Hollywood would have come to her rapist's defense.
Depp thinks that, even though Polanski fled the country three decades ago to escape sentencing, now that we've finally convinced a country to arrest him so the United States could actually hold him responsible for his crime, we should let it go. And why? Well, because Depp thinks that his former director "is not a predator. He's 75 or 76 years old. He has got two beautiful kids, he has got a wife that he has been with for a long, long time. He is not out on the street." Um ... wait, if you don't want him in jail for his crime, doesn't that mean he is out on the street?
Not only does Polanski's current position fail to negate the crime he never served a sentence for, but, as a blogger points out on Shakesville, neither his age, wife, or status as a father mean that he won't rape again, or that it won't be another child. The Shakesville guest blogger writes, "The second man who raped me had a wife and children. ... While he was married. While his two young daughters were sleeping in the next bedroom." Depp is not only a rapist apologist, he also brushes off the rapes of women by married or older men as impossible occurrences, adding insult to injury for too many survivors. It's really the cherry on top of a constantly sickening situation.
Looks like I won't be watching Pirates of the Caribbean for the umpteenth time next weekend. It's just not as much fun when I can't get Depp's rapist-supporting remarks out of my head.
Photo credit:
Alex DiBranco is a Editor who has worked for the Nation, Political Research Associates, and the Center for American Progress. She is now based in New York City.

1 comment:

theoreticalgrrrl said...

This irony here is just mind-blowing. Polanski got his victim in a vulnerable postition by promising her mother that he would photograph her for Vogue Magazine.
If she was just photographed as Polanski promised, would Johnny Depp come to her defense then? After all it's just like being raped to Johnny...

Polanski bragged about what he did. He said no men on a jury would convict him because he knows all men want to have sex with 13-year-old girls. He had no remorse. When I saw the list of people in Hollywood who supported him, it was depressing beyond belief.