There’s never been a better time to be undone. Just ask Brad Pitt, who produced three of 2022’s big movie releases (including one about the #MeToo movement) for years after facing abuse allegations from his ex-wife. Angelina Jolie. Or Louis CK, who, after admitting to sexually harassing several women, was able to make a successful comeback to acting just a year later (and now appears to be dating Succession actress/provocateur Dasha Nekrasova).
Or, perhaps, David O. Russell, who continues to make movies despite his actresses expressing discomfort working with him (not to mention the fact that he’s been accused of groping his transgender niece). Somehow, he still managed to pull together an all-star cast of Taylor Swift, Margot Robbie, Zoe Saldaña, Christian Bale and more for his 2022 vanity project, amsterdam.
Or ask the new face of cancel culture: Johnny Depp. After his controversial defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who accused him of domestic violence, the actor has managed to land himself on the hottest and most Gen Z show in recent years: Rihanna’s Wild X Fenty Spectacle.
The fourth edition of the fashion show, which will be broadcast on Prime Video from November 9, describes itself as a “hypnotic essence of nocturnal nature” and, moreover, “an unmissable visual feast”. However, that illusion is shattered 20 minutes into the 40-minute program when Depp makes his disappointing appearance.
The actor’s cameo was hugely disruptive, not just because of his terrible, terrible vibes, but also its extreme lack of sex appeal. But, sadly, it’s a cameo his fans are likely to devour, given that he taps into the nostalgia of his stardom. (Hello, Pirates of the Caribbean.) The disgraced actor appears in a pirate outfit as he treks through a dimly lit forest to the hypnotic beat of OutKast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” (no, you haven’t been sent back in time until year 2000; yes, they made that soundtrack choice in 2022 AD).
Depp, who is reportedly wearing pieces from Rihanna’s latest collection, wears a dark green (or maybe brown) dress with matching pants and a low buttoned patterned top. Near the end of his appearance, he walks up to a tree and hugs it while gently leaning his head against the trunk…because apparently he likes trees now? Since, you know, he has a long history of promoting altruism and nonviolence? (He doesn’t.)
Whether it’s fault attributed to Depp’s lack of public approval or Fenty’s lukewarm messaging, his appearance is quirky and downright bizarre. Not only is it a slap in the face for the #MeToo movement, which has long been criticized by entertainment powerhouses and other naysayers, it also shatters the modern, sexy illusion of the lingerie brand. Sure, Depp might have been a sex symbol two decades ago, but now? I’m not so sure.
To jump off the list of the show’s pioneering actors and big names of 2022, like Abbott Elementary Schoolis Sheryl Lee Ralph, Shang Chiof Simu Liu and plus-size model Precious Lee; to a washed-out, polarizing actor who hasn’t done anything relevant in years (apart from going to court), is an erratic creative move that borders on bolstering “edgy” incel culture…rather than anything worthy of humanity – the first culture shift in recent years, led by younger generations and seemingly picked up by Fenty, which prides itself on being inclusive.
It was a big fail in my books, much like Depp’s “Moon Man” appearance at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, which reeked of hopelessness and unemployment. Maybe for Depp, the third time will be the charm? Although hopefully, given those two bad results, he won’t have the chance.
Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 premieres November 9, 2022 on Prime Video.
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