Women's Aid Federation: Czech film festival's plan to honor Depp disrespectful to abuse survivors

The American actor, who was accused of abusing his ex-wife, will be celebrated for his "extensive career and lasting legacy" at Karlovy Vary in August.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 12.08.2021 09:19 (updated on 12.08.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

London/Prague, Aug 11 (CTK) - Organizers of the forthcoming 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will not respond to a women's advocacy group's criticism of its plan to honor American actor Johnny Depp, festival spokeswoman Uljana Donátová told journalists today.

According to BBC News, the Women's Aid Federation has denounced the decision to fete Depp saying it is disrespectful to abuse survivors. Solace Women's Aid one of its member organizations said such awards are "misleading" and "insulting," BBC News reports.

Leading domestic abuse charities have criticized not only the Karlovy Vary festival but other European film festivals for their plans to recognize Depp. On Tuesday, the association of Spanish women's filmmakers criticized the San Sebastian Film Festival for its plans to award Depp with its Donostia award in September.

Is the decision to award Johnny Depp at Karlovy Vary Film Festival disrespectful to abuse victims?

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In 2018, British tabloid The Sun described Depp as a "wife-beater" in an article about allegations made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Depp, who denied the allegations, lost a subsequent libel dispute with the paper after a high court judge ruled last year that it was "substantially true." It was not a criminal trial, the BBC News said.

The Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic announced this week that it would pay its tribute to the actor's "extensive career and lasting legacy."

It described him as a "multifaceted artist" and "icon of the contemporary cinema" whom it was "thrilled" to honor at the festival, which runs from August 20-28, it added.

Solace Women's Aid said the decision to award Depp with a lifetime achievement prize is "particularly insulting in the wake of a year where domestic abuse spiraled under conditions needed to address a global pandemic."

Following the first lockdown in June it was announced that Britain, "had seen a 27 percent rise in the number of calls it had received since the first UK lockdown," the BBC News reported.

In the Czech Republic, research from the ROSA Advisory Center, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive support for victims of abuse, suggests that the number of requests for help from victims has increased 40 percent during the pandemic.

Depp will present himself mainly as a film producer at the festival, which will screen two films produced by him: the documentary "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan" (2020), and the drama "Minamata" (2020), in which he plays the lead role.

The actor's career has suffered due to the abuse allegations with Danish actor Mads Mikkelson being asked to replace Depp in "Fantastic Beasts 3" after the actor was "asked to resign" just days after losing the case. Supporters, however, post regularly on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp.

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