Johnny Depp will appear in the fourth edition of Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show, NBC News has confirmed. News of his cameo was met with a backlash from some online, who called on Rihanna’s brand to #DitchDepp.
Rihanna’s 40-minute show will air Wednesday on Amazon’s Prime Video, which described the show in a press release as “a seductive fashion-fever dream.” The backdrop is a forest-like stage, and various celebrities, including dancers, models, singers, and actors, make appearances.
Many online have been divided on their feelings towards Depp after he won his libel case against ex-wife Amber Heard in June. Heard, whom he married in 2015 and divorced in 2017, published an op-ed in 2018 describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” A jury found that she defamed Depp by saying that he had abused her over the course of her relationship. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages for a defamatory statement Depp’s former lawyer made about her.
In 2020, Depp lost a UK libel case over allegations that he had hit Heard. Depp sued the parent company that owns The Sun and the paper’s executive editor for calling him a “wife beater” in 2018. Judge Andrew Nicol ruled against Depp, saying The Sun had produced substantial evidence to show he was violent against Depp. Heard on at least 12 of 14 occasions.
After the US trial, Depp said in a statement that he felt “the jury gave me my life back.”
On Thursday, the official Savage X Fenty account was flooded with tweets criticizing Depp’s cameo, which was first reported by TMZ.
“We will boycott the show if Johnny Depp is on it,” a Twitter user said.
“Delete Johnny Depp scene now, if it ever existed”, another wrote.
Representatives for Amazon Prime and Savage X Fenty did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Rihanna also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Depp declined to comment.
Some fans expressed disappointment with Rihanna, noting that Depp’s involvement appears to be a stark contrast to the Savage X Fenty brand, which has been known for its diversity and inclusion efforts.
“If Johnny Depp has anything to do with this, I will no longer support the brand,” a Twitter user. wrote.
Others online seemed to be confused by the reported cameo, citing Rihanna’s previous relationship with Chris Brown. In 2009, Brown was arrested and charged with physically assaulting Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time. He pleaded guilty to felony assault and completed probation in 2015. The two have since parted ways, and Rihanna welcomed her first child with rapper A$AP Rocky in May.
Depp is not included in a recent Amazon Prime press release about the show, of which Rihanna is an executive producer and creative director.
Celebrities listed as guest appearances include: Angela Aguilar, Avani Gregg, Bella Poarch, Cara Delevingne, Damson Idris, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Kornbread, Lara Stone, Lilly Singh, Marsai Martin, Precious Lee, Rickey Thompson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Simu Liu, Taraji P. Henson, Taylor Paige, Winston Duke, Zach Miko “and many more.” They will all be wearing “the newest Savage X Fenty looks,” says the Oct. 22 press release.
Depp appears around the 20 minute mark, walking towards the camera as Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” plays in the background. Some leaked images of the cameo circulated on Twitter on Thursday.
Since the trial concluded, Depp has appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards, where he surprised the audience by introducing himself as Moonman. He has also announced a summer 2023 European tour with his band, the Hollywood Vampires, and is set to direct a movie for the first time in a quarter-century.
Doha Madani Y Sabah Hamedy contributed.