Nine months after Johnny Depp lost his libel suit against UK tabloid The Sun over an article that called him “wife beater,” the actor says he’s under an entertainment industry “boycott” that’s also causing collateral damage to the subjects of his latest film.
Minamata, which depicts how photojournalist W. Eugene Smith exposed a mercury poisoning epidemic in 1970s Japan, has not found a U.S. distributor, and Depp, 58, tells London’s Sunday Times it’s due to the “absurdity of media mathematics” that have dogged him over the last “surreal five years.”
“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 added that the Minamata team had made assurances to those affected by the manmade disaster, and that Hollywood’s cold shoulder treatment is punishing them, too, Deadline reports: “We looked these people in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative. 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.”
Depp was forced out of the third Fantastic Beasts movie, and Minamata director Andrew Levitas has accused MGM of trying to “bury” his film, but the former box office golden boy still sees hope down the line.
“But, you know,” he told the Times, “I’m moving towards where I need to go to make all that… To bring things to light.”
Perhaps not this summer, though. Two European film festivals were sharply criticized and accused of pulling PR stunts earlier this month for honoring Depp.
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