On Halloween night, I decided to watch some movies. I started with What We Do in the Shadows (please, please please watch this if you haven’t, you will not regret it), Coraline and Sleepy Hollow. I had never seen Sleepy Hollow, but I read the original story in my American Literature class and when Halloween came, thought it would be fun to watch. I went into the movie knowing that Johnny Depp played Ichabod Crane and felt a little weird about watching it for that reason. But it’s a very popular adaptation of Irving’s story and I know it’s a good movie. Here’s the problem: it’s a lot easier to remember how bad someone is and why you refuse to support their art (I had to pay $4 to watch Sleepy Hollow on YouTube) when you’re not watching them act excellently.
An additional issue is that Depp as Ichabod Crane is sort of similar to Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (and Willy Wonka, but we won’t talk about that). They are very different in many ways, obviously, but their personalities are sort of similar. Both are in charge of something and attempt to act like they know what is going on, but clearly, they both bullshit their way through a solving a murder and being captain of a ship, respectively. This makes it even harder to reject Johnny Depp completely, because I loved Pirates of the Caribbean as a kid, and watching Sleepy Hollow made me nostalgic. It also made me remember that even though Depp is a huge asshole, he’s a very talented actor. This is sort of a hard pill to swallow, because it would be so much easier for me to not care about him if when I watched his movies as a kid I didn’t like him, or if his portrayal of Ichabod Crane was really bad. But it’s very good.
The news about Johnny Depp abusing his wife and being an alcoholic is old news by now, but I’m bringing it up now because Depp is in The Crimes of Grindlewald. It comes out tomorrow, and ever since seeing the first movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) I have felt conflicted about whether or not I should watch it. I didn’t know Depp was in the first movie but felt angry after seeing him in it. When I saw the first one, I felt angry that Depp even got more work after that, but of course, I wasn’t surprised. Men in Hollywood are redeemed quickly, often with little impact on their careers. This is improving, thankfully.
On the other hand, the world of Harry Potter has been a part of my life since 3rd grade. I really think it shaped who I am as a person and has remained something I hold very close to my heart. With that being said, I would have a hard time not watching anything Harry Potter related that comes out. (Except The Cursed Child, which I never want to see. But that rant is for another time…) Although I am disappointed in the casting (particularly in J.K Rowling supporting it), I would have a hard time not seeing The Crimes of Grindlewald. Seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them made me so happy and nostalgic, despite my feelings about Depp. Ultimately, I think my love of Harry Potter might win this. And I feel guilty about that. Really guilty.
I think the example of Johnny Depp brings up bigger, general questions about forgiving or not forgiving people (in this case men) in Hollywood and what repercussions those actions should have on their careers. These issues are very complex and not all cases are the same. Additionally, not everyone will have the same standards for when to forgive and when not to. As exemplified in this post, other reasons or biases might convince you to just consume what you want, even if you aren’t sure how to feel.
What are your opinions on this issue?
Thank you for reading! ❤