Rihanna faces backlash over casting Johnny Depp in the new Savage X Fenty show

written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Actor Johnny Depp is set to appear at Rihanna’s new Savage X Fenty fashion show, sparking outrage online and calls for a boycott of the singer’s lingerie brand.

The 59-year-old actor, who has claimed to be back-listed by Hollywood amid his high-profile legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, has already filmed his cameo in Runway Splendor, which debuts on Amazon’s Prime Video next week. Although Depp’s name was not mentioned in press materials or the trailer for the show, CNN confirmed his appearance directly. Neither Rihanna’s representatives nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comment on Depp’s selection decision.

Described by Amazon as “a seductive fashion fever dream,” the label’s star-studded fourth edition features performances by Anitta and Burna Boy, as well as appearances from Cara Delevingne, Simu Liu, and TikTok star Bella Poarch. As soon as news of Depp’s involvement surfaced, fans began calling on Rihanna to remove his scenes.

“Better the editorial team here delete this guy than this,” read one response to a post promoting the show on the Savage X Fenty Instagram account.

Dancers on stage during Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 in Simi Valley, California. attributed to him: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Users on Twitter have expressed their disapproval of the use of the hashtag #DitchDepp, with some threatening to do so boycott poster. Music Producer Drew Dixon describe it The decision to portray the actor as “really disappointing,” while British singer and actor Olly Alexander – who previously collaborated with Savage X Fenty on a social media campaign – announced on social media that he “won’t wear” the brand any long.
With the show not slated to air until Wednesday, some commentators wondered if Depp would even make the final cut. “For those who are angry, I will wait and see if this really happens,” chirp Author Art Tavana. “That’s not how Rihanna trades. Her brand is bulletproof.”

After his divorce in 2017, Depp sued Heard for $50 million over an opinion piece in the Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.”

Rihanna attending a party

Rihanna attends the premiere of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever at the Dolby Theater on October 26, 2022 in Hollywood, California. attributed to him: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Heard then opposed him for $100 million, which led to an explosive television trial in which both were found liable for libel, although the jury awarded Depp much greater damages.

Heard maintains that Depp abused her during their marriage, an allegation the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor has consistently denied. Depp has also said that he has been a victim of domestic violence – an allegation that some of his supporters have compared Rihanna’s experience to abuse during her relationship with singer Chris Brown. “Survivors support survivors,” Wrote One Twitter user to support the singer’s choice.

During the six-week trial, Depp claimed that Heard’s accusations led to his exclusion from future “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. The actor also lost his role in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise after an unsuccessful British libel case against a British newspaper over allegations of domestic violence.

Actor Marsai Martin and TikTok star Bella Poarch were spotted during the Rihanna Savage X Fenty Show Vol.  4.

Actor Marsai Martin and TikTok star Bella Poarch were spotted during the Rihanna Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4. attributed to him: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

However, Depp made several high profile appearances in the months following the ruling in June. In August, he gave a surprise at the MTV Video Music Awards, where a video of his face was superimposed on a life-size Moonman floating above the stage. He joked to the audience, “I just want you to know I’m available for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, weddings, wake-ups—anything old you need.”
In his first major return to screens, Depp is set to appear as King Louis XV in the upcoming French film “La Favourite”. He also reprized his voice role as Johnny Pugh on the animated TV series “Puffins Impossible,” and is set to direct a movie about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, according to both Deadline and the Hollywood Reporter.
Savage X Fenty, which also makes men’s underwear, has been praised in the past for its overall size and versatility.

Top photo: Johnny Depp is pictured in a defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, at Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, April 27, 2022.

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