Why the Online Campaign to Fire Amber Heard From Aquaman 2 Didn’t Work
Fans can make or break a franchise. Sure, there are the ones who will love anything and everything that comes out because the content is content. Others are comfortable scrutinizing every detail, claiming that they know what is best. And some believe that real-world consequences should impact the development of a film. A recent online campaign took over the internet in an attempt to fire actress Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 after fans believed that her abuse allegations should shun her from the spotlight, but the campaign didn’t work. We finally have some good behind-the-scenes insight into why.
Why Amber Heard Didn’t Get Fired From Aquaman 2 After Online Campaign
Domestic abuse scandals in Hollywood are always messy. It’s often hard to tell who is giving the right information versus who has the better lawyer. The ongoing legal battle regarding Amber Heard against Johnny Depp has been happening since 2017, following their divorce. The Sun referred to Johnny Depp as a “wife-beater” after various accusations regarding his character, which quickly turned into campaigns against his inclusion in films and boycotts against ones that were released. He was even fired from the Fantastic Beasts franchise despite an outpouring of support and character references claiming that he was anything but an abuser.
While Johnny Depp was under fire for the accusations, which are unfortunately all-too-common in tabloids, Amber Heard’s reputation was also stirring up some thoughts. Eventually, news unleashed that the Aquaman actress may have been the one to instigate incidents of abuse. This begged fans to ask: If Johnny Depp could be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in a major franchise, why couldn’t Amber Heard be given similar treatment?
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Online Campaign To Get Amber Heard Out
It’s a common feeling to fear losing your job. Whether it’s imposter syndrome or knowing that you messed up, we’ve all been there. But imagine an online campaign with nearly 2 million signatures begging for your dismissal. And even more damaging, it’s for some good reasons.
Film producers and studios don’t always follow fans’ wishes, but it’s not unheard of. The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut was a huge shift in showing that fans have some power in what happens to a film. But was a petition enough to recast such a huge role in a sequel to a successful film? No, apparently not. We’ve all made our assumptions about why it didn’t happen. Now we finally have an answer.
Peter Safran recently spoke about the online campaigns and desired removal of Heard from the film. Safran, an Aquaman producer, claimed that they would never react to “pure fan pressure.” Additionally, he added that if the rest of the team was staying, it felt right for Amber Heard to stay and that it was what’s “best for the movie.”
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment.
Is What Is Right For The Film Always What Is Right?
The allegations of abuse against Amber Heard claimed that she had been physical with Depp. This included punching, shattering his finger with a glass bottle, and more. The evidence is damaging, yet the other party involved is the only one to lose a job so far. While the press could still damage her career, she will still walk away with a hefty paycheck. Meanwhile, Depp has had his name tarnished, and the only thing he is working on is Puffins, which looks pretty cute, by the way.
We understand that recasting a role, especially when it’s a sequel, is tough. It would draw more attention to the allegations and leave viewers with warped expectations of the role. Amber Heard may not have been fired after the online campaign for Aquaman 2. Still, the wording of these petitions as “fan pressure” takes the conversation away from the serious allegations and makes it sound like it’s just about fan service. Taking away the power from an alleged abuser isn’t fan service: it’s about respecting the victims.
While rumors may have suggested that we would see Emilia Clarke in the role of Mera in Aquaman 2, it seems as if Heard is here to stay. You can catch Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in theaters on December 16th, 2022.
Readers, we know that this is a serious conversation about a highly anticipated film. So, we want to hear your thoughts on the online campaign to get Amber Heard out of Aquaman 2 and what you think of the producer’s response.
Featured image via Warner Bros. Pictures.
Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.