#PopVultures Podcast: The disturbing 'meme-ification' of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial

After their breakup in 2016, US actor Johnny Depp files a $50 million defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard, denying that he was violent with her during their marriage. PHOTO: Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

Synopsis: The Straits Times examines the ins and outs of pop culture in the Asian entertainment and Hollywood scene.

The defamation suit between former Hollywood couple Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have put the ugly details of their marriage out for public scrutiny. The two stars were married briefly from 2015 to 2016, after dating for several years.

In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post saying that she "became a public figure representing domestic abuse" in 2016. Depp sued for defamation over this and alleged instead that Heard was abusive towards him.

The ensuing trial has become a media circus. Social media is flooded with memes, spliced and edited videos of the trial, pseudoscience analyses of Depp and Heard's body language and hashtags such as #JusticeForJohnnyDepp and #AmberHeardIsAPsychopath trending on Twitter.

#PopVultures host Jan Lee gives her thoughts on why the public reaction to the trial has been deeply troubling and how the whole saga has been mired with backlash over the #MeToo movement. 

Highlights (tap/click above): 

3:04 Summary of the Depp-Heard relationship and defamation suits Depp has embarked on 

12:04 The disturbing memeification of the trial and why it needs to stop 

21:03 How #MeToo ties into the trial 

Produced by Jan Lee (janlee@sph.com.sg), Paxton Pang and Eden Soh

Edited by: Paxton Pang

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