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Gen Z

Gen Zs are on team Depp

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

In the trial between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, you’d expect “ultra-woke” Gen Zs to automatically side with the woman, says The Daily Telegraph. After all, Heard, 36, has accused her 58-year-old ex-husband of domestic and sexual abuse. But Depp denies the allegations – and Gen Zs are firmly in his corner. On TikTok, videos titled #justiceforjohnnydepp have been viewed more than 10 billion times; fans routinely refer to the actress as “Amber Turd”; Instagram is saturated with posts criticising Heard’s clothing, behaviour, and testimony. An online petition demanding the actress’s removal from the upcoming film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been signed by nearly four million people.

It’s all rather surprising behaviour from a “group of people who perpetuate cancel culture as a hobby, who view words as a form of violence and see mental-health issues as sacrosanct”. But clearly for Gen Zs Johnny Depp is an exception. “And who can blame them?” The actor is a relic of their childhood. He was Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka and the Mad Hatter. Whenever a beloved celebrity is embroiled in a public scandal, there are always those fans who ignore or deny an artist’s bad behaviour because they don’t want to stop enjoying their art. Boomers, Gen Xs and millennials do it all the time – just look at Woody Allen or Michael Jackson. It turns out Gen Zs are no different.