Entertainment And News

How Men's Rights Activists Turned The World Against Amber Heard

Photo: Solomon 7/ Tinseltown / Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com
Johnny Depp, Amber Heard

As Johnny Depp secures a win against Amber Heard in his defamation trial, a mass movement online is doubling down against the actor's ex-wife over her abuse allegations.

In 2016, Heard first came forward to accuse Depp of abuse and entered a landscape that was arguably more forgiving than it is now.

Responses were mixed but Heard at least had some supporters in a world on the cusp of MeToo.

RELATED: ‘I Stand With Marilyn Manson’ Movement Grows As Johnny Depp Fans Target Evan Rachel Wood

Now, however, Heard believers in the trending hashtags #JusticeForJohnnyDepp and #AmberHeardIsALiar are few and far between.

And while many people claim to support Depp in the name of feminism, there is no denying where this movement originated.

Incels and men's rights activists cast the first stone against Amber Heard.

Very early on in Heard and Depp's divorce, the manosphere declared Heard their latest example of how society believes women and allows men to be taken down by allegations.

Throughout the trial, we heard vicious accounts of domestic abuse allegations from both Depp and Heard, yet it seems as if Heard was the only one who has been subjected to horrific backlash from many on social media.

Depp sued Heard for $50 million, claiming that she was violent towards him while they were together and that her 2018 Washington Post op-ed caused his career in Hollywood to take a substantial dip. 

While there is evidence that Depp was equally, if not more, abusive towards Heard, Depp was weaponized by men's rights activist groups and was used to wage a war against women, especially Heard.

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

These commentators include Minnesota lawyer Nick Rekieta, who is streaming the trial to his mass fanbase on YouTube while providing live commentary and opinions on Twitter.

Rekieta claims to be dropping legal insights, and he often does, but not without an undertone of hatred for Heard.

Though, it's not just him. He's joined by others, mainly white men, who have branded Heard as a "witch." 

"ThatUmbrellaGuy" has posted live commentary of the Depp and Heard trial on his YouTube page, and has even said that the Depp trial "will destroy the Hollywood agenda."

He has also made repeated claims that Heard and "her simps" targeted their content with takedown notices, and championed how he and other men’s rights allies are willing to be unbiased in the face of social pressure. 

This widespread narrative of blaming Heard, feminism, and the #MeToo movement, is only being upheld by their fans, who are, again, mostly white men. 

RELATED: Amber Heard’s Case Is Actually A Perfect Example Of How Patriarchy Works

Other groups, such as the U.K.-based "father's rights" group "Fathers 4 Justice," have used the trial to prove a misguided point about the alleged systemic ignorance of male suffering in all kinds of venues, not just divorce court. 

Their newest propaganda campaign depicts Heard standing for a mugshot, holding an edited image of the words “THIS IS WHAT A DOMESTIC ABUSER LOOKS LIKE.” 

“Break the silence. End the stigma,” the tagline states.

These rhetorics even predate the defamation trial. In a 2019 Reddit thread, users claimed: "the Johnny Depp case speaks for thousands and thousands of those who actually ended up in prison for having done nothing but be part of a sexist legal system controlled by feminists."

Of course, these same men don't understand that claims like this hold no truth considering that the justice system is an institution that favors white men because it is run by white men. 

Another thread from the subreddit r/MensRights claims that “media bias” always turns society against innocent men, many of whom lack the resources to fight back. 

While domestic abuse does impact men, there has always been a trend of men claiming that they care about men's issues, but in reality, they only care about silencing women when they want to create a space to talk about their trauma. 

Heard, along with other domestic abuse victims, have been repeatedly targeted and made out to be the true villains.

The sentiments these men have shared have been echoed across social media by many who would probably be horrified to know where they originated.

Believing Depp is one thing, but contributing to the merciless abuse of women online is no noble effort.

RELATED: The Assassination Of Amber Heard

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.