Johnny Depp makes guest appearance in Savage X Fenty Show
Rihanna is facing an intense backlash after it was revealed that Johnny Depp will make a “star” appearance in the upcoming Savage Fenty X Vol 4 fashion show.
The singer’s fans began expressing concern over the casting shortly after it was reported on Thursday, and critics are now calling for a boycott of the underwear brand and Rihanna’s cosmetics company Fenty Beauty. The independent confirmed Depp’s name in the show’s end credits, while images shared ahead of the show’s November 9 Prime Video release show the actor wearing an olive green outfit from the Savage x Fenty men’s collection.
The controversial news of the actor’s cameo comes after Depp’s high-profile legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard over a 2018 comment written by Aquaman Star ended earlier this year, when a jury ruled that Heard had defamed Depp when she alleged he had abused her during their marriage.
As a result of the verdict in June, which ended the six-week trial, Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages. The jury also awarded Heard $2m (£1.6m) in her counterclaim that she was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.
The details of the former couple’s marriage, and every moment of the lengthy trial, also played out on social media, with fans following along under intense scrutiny.
Follow the latest updates below.
Both Rihanna and the official Savage x Fenty social media accounts have continued to post amid the ongoing backlash, with the underwear company sharing photos taken on the red carpet at the premiere of the fashion show in Simi Valley, California.
Rihanna has been focusing on her music, with the singer sharing a TikTok reaction to her new song “Lift Me Up” on Twitter.
Taking to Instagram, the 34-year-old shared photos taken of her on a beach while filming the song’s music video.
While the majority of comments under the Instagram post have come from fans praising the singer, others have focused on Depp’s performance in the upcoming show.
“Johnny Depp? Really?” one comment reads, while another says: “Why is Johnny Depp on your show?
Chelsea RitschelNovember 5, 2022 at 00.00
Rihanna was also forced to apologize after the Savage x Fenty show in 2020, after many took issue with the use of an Islamic song during the underwear show.
The song in question, called Doom by artist Coucou Chloe, contains a Muslim text known as a hadith. The Hadith is part of a collection of texts believed to be the spoken words of the Prophet Muhammad and is one of the most sacred and important religious texts for Muslims.
Following criticism over the use of the song, Rihanna issued a statement on her Instagram, apologizing for the “honest but careless mistake”.
You can read her apology in full below.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 10:31 p.m
It’s not the first time that Rihanna and Savage x Fenty have been involved in controversy.
In 2021, Rihanna was accused of cultural appropriation after models wore braids while walking in the fashion show.
The third annual show featured big names like Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Ratajkowski.
However, shortly after the fashion show aired, viewers expressed concern over the hairstyles chosen for some of the models, as Ratajkowski and Hudgens both wore their hair in braids during the event, sparking a conversation about the appropriation of black culture.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 9:31 p.m
Much of the backlash surrounding Depp’s casting has focused on Rihanna’s own history of domestic violence, as the singer was assaulted by then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009.
The rapper was arrested and charged with physically abusing the singer and sentenced to five years of probation.
In 2015, Rihanna opened up about the abuse during an interview withVanity Fairwhere she revealed that she felt she was being “punished over and over again” every time she was asked to relive the event by the media.
“Well, I’ve just never understood it, like how the victim is punished over and over again. It’s in the past, and I don’t want to say, ‘Get over it,’ because it’s a very serious thing that’s still relevant; it’s still real,” she said. “A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through that. Many young boys too. It’s not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can’t just dismiss it as nothing, or I don’t take it seriously.
“But for me and anyone who has been a victim of domestic abuse, no one even wants to remember it. No one even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like… I have to be punished for it? That didn’t sit well with me.”
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 8:31 p.m
As for the role that Depp will play in the upcoming fashion show, it Pirates of the The Caribbean actor is not expected to walk the runway with the other models. Rather, Depp is in for a “spotlight moment,” according to Los Angeles Times.
The moment, which NBC News reports occur 20 minutes into the 40-minute runway show, Depp is seen walking toward the camera as Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” plays in the background.
In photos that have been circulating on social media ahead of the launch of the runway on Prime Video on November 9, Depp can be seen wearing an olive green ensemble and several necklaces.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 7:50 p.m
So far, neither Rihanna nor Savage x Fenty have addressed the backlash.
But on Instagram, the comments under the underwear company’s post have continued to reference the controversial casting decision, with some condemning Depp’s cameo while others have said they’re looking forward to seeing the actor on the show.
“Why is Johnny Depp on the show?” asked one follower, while another said: “So excited for this show. Glad to hear Johnny is a part of it.”
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 7:31 p.m
Depp’s cameo in the upcoming show marks the latest in a number of public appearances he has made since the trial. The first took place during the 2022 VMAs in August, when he made a surprise appearance dressed as the awards show’s Moonperson.
At the time, the actor joked that he had “needed the job”.
The stunt divided viewers, with some calling the actor’s performance at the awards show “out of touch.”
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 6:31 p.m
As criticism leveled at Rihanna for working with Depp continues, fans have also noticed that Heard’s Twitter account seems to have disappeared. As of Thursday, Heard’s handle @realAmberHeard was no longer active.
It is currently not clear whether Aquaman star deleted the account herself or it was deactivated, but its disappearance comes just days after Heard’s ex-boyfriend Elon Musk took over the social media platform.
Heard last used her account to tweet in June, when she shared a statement about the outcome of Depp’s defamation lawsuit against her.
You can find more information on Depp’s latest tweet below.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 6:12 p.m
As fans continue to criticize the singer, some have claimed that if Rihanna had wanted to make a “powerful statement”, she could have cast Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard in the show.
“It really sucks because think what a powerful statement Rihanna could have made by inviting Amber to be a part of her show,” a tweet reading.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 5:21 p.m
Others have claimed they also plan to boycott Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty company as a result of Depp’s cameo in the upcoming fashion show.
“I’m so glad I never bought any Savage x Fenty stuff and I can’t wait to never buy a Fenty Beauty product again,” one person wrote on Twitter.
According to Forbes, which estimates Rihanna’s net worth at $1.7 billion, the singer’s billionaire status depends largely on the value of her cosmetics company, of which she owns 50 percent. In 2021, the store reported that an estimated $1.4 billion of Rihanna’s fortune comes from Fenty Beauty.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 4, 2022 4:14 p.m
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