Maybe Johnny should just buy his next girlfriend a ring.
Johnny Depp is currently in the middle of a very public, acrimonious divorce with his soon-to-be-ex-wife Amber Heard, and things are getting ugly. Heard has made allegations of abuse, friends have been openly describing their marriage as “toxic,” and, mostly recently, Depp found a novel way to lash out at his former flame — through his tattoos.
Depp had originally had the word “SLIM” tattooed on his fingers as a tribute to Heard (“Slim” was his nickname for her). However, after their well-publicized split, Depp, apparently, decided to turn his fingers into the equivalent of a ninth-grade burn book and had the word “SLIM” changed to “SCUM.”
Here’s a look at the before and after:
Seems a bit extreme, right? And more than a little petulant.
The sad thing is Johnny Depp used to be the KING of the hilarious break-up tattoo alteration.
He was the gold standard of someone looking at their post-split tattoo, thinking “SHIT,” and then coming up with an amazing way to deal with it.
For those unfamiliar, back in 1993, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder broke up. To give millennials some context, at the time, this was a BIG DEAL. If Mr. and Mrs. Scissorhands couldn’t make it, what hope did the rest of us have?!
What complicated the break-up was that Johnny had famously gotten “Winona Forever” tattooed on his arm. (Note to people getting couples tattoos — including the word “forever” is almost daring the universe to mess with your relationship.)
So, in a genius solution to the problem, Johnny Depp had the tattoo altered, changing “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever.”
Which is legitimately hilarious. It’s funny and endearing because it is SO self-depreciating. It makes it sound like Johnny expects to spend his post break-up life drowning his sorrows in booze and definitely OWNS his side of the split. That was him looking at the whole decision to break-up, to get the tattoo, and saying, “Well, damn, I guess I’ll be a wino forever.”
But this new tattoo alteration isn’t NEARLY as charming.
While “Wino Forever” is all about putting down oneself in a funny way, “Scum” is just bitter. We’ve all had horrible experiences with exes in the past, but can you imagine actually wearing an angry declaration of how much you hate your ex ON YOUR HAND for the rest of your life?
It comes across as angry and childish. Yes, Depp got the “Slim” tattoo and had to find a way to deal with it, but he’s also got that Pirates of the Caribbean money. He could’ve easily paid to have the letters removed… but he didn’t.
Also, when you're facing serious abuse allegations, maybe it's not the best time to get declarations of hate tattooed on your hands like you're a vengeful skinhead. Maybe that's not the right time to turn your permanent ink into something SO aggressive. Particularly when you're in the middle of doing press for your underperforming children's movie.
The whole incident reads like a case study of what NOT to do when dealing with an unfortunate relationship tattoo after a break-up.
YOU are the person who decided to get the tattoo in the first place, and YOU are the one that’s going to have to live with the consequences.
Consider your decision carefully. Do you really want a message filled with bile and spite permanently etched into your skin? Or would it be better to have an irreverent, sardonic, all-too-aware reminder of a dumb past mistake that you and your friends can laugh about forever?
The second option makes you look MUCH better in the long run.
So, let’s all learn from Johnny’s mistakes. If you’re going to get the tattoo of an ex altered, make sure the joke is on YOU. Because YOU’RE the one who’s going to be living with it for a very, very long time.