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Johnny Depp Compared To OJ Simpson Online As Fans Debate The Dangers Of Trials By Media

Photo: Andrea Raffin / Vicki L. Miller / Shutterstock.com
Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, and OJ Simpson

All it takes is one viral moment, one viral tweet, to get the entire world up in arms about something, rallying behind their keyboards and doling out their subjective ideas of justice whenever something controversial happens in the popular media.

Johnny Depp, a beloved actor who has played many legendary movie roles over the years and has cemented a cult-like fanbase that will defend him with their dying breath.

Online, Depp is the central figure in one of the most high-profile trials of this generation as he takes on his ex-wife Amber Heard in an attempt to quash the domestic violence allegations she has made against him.

RELATED: Video Captures Contrast Between How Amber Heard & Johnny Depp Are Treated By Crowds Outside Court

But for those who have watched similar highly publicized trials play out in the public eye before a verdict is reached in court, the fandom that has surrounded the Depp v. Heard trial is as dangerous as the allegations made in could.

Johnny Depp is now being compared to OJ Simpson.

One abusive relationship on both sides, a messy break, and a couple of lawsuits later, their trial is the most talked-about celebrity trial in ages and as it nears the end, people went online to talk about their hottest takes, who’s innocent and who’s guilty and comparing this case to other landmark cases that took the media by storm.

Someone on Twitter claimed that Johnny Depp was the “white people’s OJ.”

Rae Sanni, a stand-up comedian and TV writer according to her Twitter page, tweeted a simple question that was likely meant to be a satirical take on how popularized and obsessed people have become with the Depp v. Heard trial.

“OMG is Johnny Depp white people’s OJ?!” she tweeted.

No, of course not. Depp is not being accused of murder, and neither is Heard, but the point of the statement is to draw a comparison with how the public perceives the case, and people are furious about it.

The tweet points to an underbelly of Simpson's trial for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown. Simpson was almost impossible to defend yet supporters flocked to his side.

Decades on, Simpson may not have as much support but the fandom that surrounded him at the time was shockingly similar to Depp.

There’s evidence that Depp is guilty of abusing Heard, as was seen in a 2020 libel lawsuit Depp filed against a newspaper in the UK. He later lost this trial. 

RELATED: Why Johnny Depp Has Refused To Look At Amber Heard During Defamation Trial

The judge ruled that Depp assaulted Heard on a dozen occasions and put her in fear for her life three times.

But despite all of that, the public and the media all cry in defense of Depp and his alleged innocence all while berating Heard.

Of course, domestic violence disputes and incidents are not comparable to murder although they can often lead to it, so comparing the two crimes is disingenuous and insensitive at best, however, this is about the public’s perception and receiving justice.

The jury is still out on whether or not OJ did it. While he was acquitted of the murders, many people still believe that he committed the crime (and vice-versa).

The way that the Depp fans idolize him further proves the point that Sanni was originally trying to make, which is that the popularization of this case and the backlash against Heard removes any and all guilt from Depp. Like with OJ Simpson, the court's verdict is almost irrelevant when the trial by the media has already played out.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.