Johnny Depp has claimed he is being boycotted by Hollywood in a candid new interview, his first since losing his controversial libel lawsuit.
The comments come as the US remains the only territory yet to release his latest film, Minamata, in which Depp stars as photographer W Eugene Smith, who helped expose the mercury poisoning scandal in the Japanese town of Minamata.
The film’s director, Andrew Levitas, had previously accused entertainment company MGM of “burying” the film, amid Depp’s ongoing personal problems.
Levitas claimed the “personal issues of an actor in the film could reflect negatively upon them”, also accusing MGM of failing to fulfil its “moral obligation” to release it. He also demanded MGM explained to the victims in Minamata “why you think an actor’s personal life is more important than their dead children”.
MGM responded to say that while Minamata was still among its planned future releases, the date was “TBA”.
Depp has now opened up about the issue and how he feels his place in Hollywood has changed, in an interview with The Sunday Times.
“We looked these people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative,” he said. “That the film would be respectful. I believe that we’ve kept our end of the bargain, but those who came in later should also maintain theirs.
“Some films touch people,” he said. “And this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything ... For Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
Depp, once one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors, was dropped from a number of films, including Warner Bros's Fantastic Beasts franchise, after losing a libel lawsuit against The Sun newspaper. The British tabloid ran a headline in 2018 calling him a “wife-beater”, in relation to his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.
He lost a bid to overturn the ruling at the High Court in London, in March this year.
However, earlier in August, Depp scored a rare legal victory, allowing him to explore whether Heard followed through with her pledge to donate her $7 million divorce settlement to charity.
“I’m moving towards where I need to go to make all that ... To bring things to light,” Depp told The Sunday Times.