The Social Media Trial Of Amber Heard – First In Court, Now On OTT

Amber Heard received the worst of abuses when she arrived in court, as opposed to the cheering and clapping for Depp. Had people already decided the woman was wrong?

Trigger Warning: This speaks of domestic abuse, violence against women, and internet trolling, and may be triggering for survivors.

I recently watched the docuseries Depp v. Heard on Netflix.

For the uninitiated, the 3- episode series revolves around the courtroom trial of the defamation case filed by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard. She had accused him of domestic abuse and he denied the charges, claiming that her accusations affected his career. The entire trial was televised, broadcast on social media, and there were some blurred conversations and videos of physical abuse that were presented as evidence. The final verdict was in favor of Johnny Depp.

The vitriol against Amber heard was unbelievable

The series as such was pretty shallow and underwhelming, just the trial procedure garnished with the social media responses of the public. Which included tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram reels, and many such reactions from the public. But I am not here to review the series. I do not wish to comment on the jury’s verdict either. What I wish to mention, is the social media trial of the woman in question, Amber Heard.

When the first episode commenced, that is, before the actual trial, the makers of the series played some reels and videos of the public’s reactions. I was taken aback to see Amber Heard being trolled brutally for no reason at all. The recurring ‘beeps’ in those videos obviously pointed to horrible expletives being thrown at Ms. Heard, mind you, even before the trial started.

‘Bi@*h’ and ‘Gold Digger’ (I’m mentioning just the most subtle ones here), she was being termed by total strangers, people with no inkling of what happened in the couple’s life. Huge crowds had gathered outside the court as well, holding placards with the choicest invectives for Amber Heard. They booed when she arrived, and called her names. ‘Amber Heard, You Are D*@d.’ read one.

And there was applause, support, and cheer when Johnny Depp arrived, in fact, the actor looked happy and confident as he got out of his car, gladly waving to his fans.

The difference was very clear

As the 3 episodes unfolded, that is, for a good 2 hours and 30 minutes, I constantly watched the ruthless social media attack against Amber Heard. Both men and women. There were few women who talked of giving Amber a chance, but when these ladies tweeted support, they too were ambushed nastily on the media. So much so that they had to withdraw the limited positive tweets that were.

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Amber Heard eventually lost the trial in court but she had lost a million times before, in the social media trial she was subjected to. Not that I’m challenging the verdict or anything, but the sheer hatred against a woman and the mud-slinging somehow makes me wonder if all those people out there had already decided that Johny Depp wasn’t guilty. And even if they thought he was, would they slut shame him or question his character?

Considering the social media judgment passed against Amber Heard or any other woman, how many rich and powerful men would have ever been subjected to online hatred to this extent? A handful perhaps. Sigh.

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