Johnny Depp has said he is being boycotted by Hollywood after his latest film is yet to be released in the US.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times focused on his latest film Minamata, the actor said his public image is getting in the way of the movie not being released in US cinemas. The film follows photojournalist W. Eugene Smith (played by Depp), as he documents the effects of industrial pollution on Minamata residents in the ’70s.
Speaking to the paper, Depp said he “looked [those] people in the eyeballs” and promised the film would not exploit the real tragedies that took place.
“Some films touch people… and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things,” Depp told The Times. “And for anything… for Hollywood’s boycott of, erm, me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
According to The Times, it is the first interview Depp has had with the press following his libel case against News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun, which he ultimately lost. The actor took News Group Newspapers and The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton to court over an April 2018 article that referred to him as a “wife beater” in relation to allegations from ex-wife Amber Heard, which Depp has strongly denied.
The Times also spoke with Minamata director Andrew Levitas for the interview. Last month, the filmmaker accused film company MGM of not releasing Minamata in the US because of the public controversy surrounding Depp.
“It’s important that the movie gets seen and supported,” Levitas told The Times.
“And if I get an inkling it’s not going to be, it’s my responsibility to say so. Where it goes from there? I don’t know. But we have responsibility to these victims…”
In a statement from late July, MGM said “Minamata continues to be among future [American International Pictures] releases and at this time, the film’s US release date is TBA”.
Earlier this month, the San Sebastian Film Festival defended its decision to award Depp the honorary Donostia Award, after it was met with backlash.
“In these present times, when lynching on social media is rife, we will always defend two basic principles which form part of our culture and of our body of laws: that of the presumption of innocence and that of the right to reintegration,” said festival director José Luis Rebordinos in a statement.