The planetary show of the moment is the trial between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. Cross demands between the actor and the actress and demands for millionaire compensation between them for the collapse of their professional careers of which they accuse each other. For now, the show has been useful to illustrate what a toxic relationship is, how much damage the people who star in it can do to each other and how wise it is to run –them and them– from these emotional poison mousetraps, no matter how intense and pleasant the events may be. high moments they provide.
The lawsuit has divided audiences. Although according to what can be observed on networks, Depp has already established himself as the winner in the always swampy field of popular justice, based on prejudice and fanaticism. Regardless of what the jury says, the truth is that in the case of still living in the middle ages, it is very likely that Beard would be hanged for being a witch, for being crazy or for both at the same time, the followers –and also the followers– of Captain Sparrow. Depp won the football game, the trial will be seen who. The actor’s triumph in the agora was no accident. His team – on and off the court – has played better.
Media events like this are sometimes disruptive in the social field. New York Times published an article a few days ago, signed by Michelle Goldberg, entitled “Amber Heard and the death of #MeToo”, in which the award-winning journalist attributes support for Depp to a broad misogynist frenzy typical of the deeply reactionary moment that, according to her, we live in and anticipate similar lawsuits against women who claim to have survived abuse from their partners. The text, also published in Spanish, has been reproduced by many headers, not as Goldberg’s opinion, but as that of the own New York Times. Goldberg inaugurated in 2021 the thesis that the influence of the #Metoo movement was waning as a result of the abuse scandal of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was finally forced to resign by his friend Joe Biden. That Cuomo’s head did not roll fast enough was what justified the decline of #MeToo for the influential journalist.
If Goldberg’s thesis about the puncture of the #MeToo balloon were true, we would be facing very bad news. There is no doubt that this movement has allowed women as a whole to take a step forward when it comes to naturalizing the denunciation of any type of abuse suffered; many of which – this is still the case today – remained hidden; either because they were considered normal, or because the victims came to the conclusion that it was not worth bringing them out because the cost of doing so would be greater than the compensation. So, long live #MeToo.
The accusations, if it is about doing justice, must be proven
Now, what cannot be claimed is that people –men in this case– should not and cannot defend themselves against accusations of abuse and that the public word of a woman is enough to be considered summarily guilty and pay, from the outset, with his professional and civil death. The accusations, if it is about doing justice, must be proven. And yes, unfortunately there is no other choice but to go through the trouble of denouncing, providing evidence, convincing whoever should pass sentence and assuming the risk of not being able to do so. Because this is the closest thing to the collective truth that we humans have been able to invent and because –although sometimes guilty are declared innocent and innocent guilty– it is the only thing that deserves to be called justice.
The Depp-Heard case should not discourage anyone who has experienced abuse from reporting it. But it can have consequences in this second derivative: the need to prove the accusations made against another. In this sense, the “I do believe you”, which made so much fortune in Spain as a result of the sentence of the criminals of The pack, it must serve only for friends, family and angry masses. But it neither has nor should have any probative value. And there it is necessary that we begin to rectify ourselves and introduce doses of common sense. So that the guilty pay, of course; but not because someone just points them out, but because it has been ratified that they have committed a crime. And knowing, unfortunately, that a perfect answer cannot be given to all cases. But also knowing that there are better ways than others when it comes to asking for and doing justice, which is what, supposedly, it is about.