There’s a seriously toxic double standard that exists in society’s perception and support of survivors of domestic violence.
Whilst women are unequivocally supported when they come forward, men simply aren’t believed. And though women do make up the largest percentage of victims (at the hands of men), that doesn’t mean the tables don’t ever turn.
This stark binary has become every more apparent in the public case of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp.
While Depp was dropped from his movie roles in a flash once allegations emerged, Heard has come out relatively unscathed. Even after audio evidence emerges of her confessing to physically “hitting” Depp.
Yet, while Depp was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (of which he was, arguably, the face), Heard continues to be one of the many faces of L’Oréal Paris. And fans have had enough of the inequality.
L’Oréal’s Tribute To Heard’s ‘Inner Beauty’
Early on Monday morning, L’Oréal Paris posted a picture of Heard as part of their #WomenMakeCinema series.
L’Oréal described Heard as an actress who “highlights that a woman’s inner beauty is what we should value the most.”
View this post on Instagram
#WomenMakeCinema Hollywood actress @AmberHeard highlights that a woman’s inner beauty is what we should value the most. ‘I would love to see women be able to be powerful, smart, opinioned, and taken seriously, even if they are beautiful. Even more, I would love to see women held to different standards, other than the superficial ones we are held to’. . . . #WomenMakeCinema #LorealParisFamily #Cannes2020
Heard was then quoted in the caption, saying she wants women to be “taken seriously even if they are beautiful.”
Even more, I would love to see women held to different standards, other than the superficial ones we are held to.
Heard was the latest actress to be featured in the series – a partnership with the Cannes Film festival. Dame Helen Mirren, Eva Longoria, Elle Fanning, and political queen Jane Fonda, to name a few, were tributes before her.
But many fans / followers of L’Oréal’s page were quick to point out the absurdity of supporting an abuser, let alone to portray her as an empowering role model for women.
“Quite shocked as the star system till continuing to support her [as a] role model,” one fan wrote.
“She discredited abused females just to have some millions on her bank account,” another wrote. “I don’t see what’s the link between a brand such as L’Oréal Paris that should empower women?”
Many angered commenters calling for a boycott to the brand, threatening to never buy L’Oréal (or their affiliate brand, Maybelline) again.
Yeah, This Is Where The Hypocrisy Jumps Out.
It’s absurd that even with the evidence stacked against her – I mean, she is literally heard confessing to “hitting” Depp – brands are holding on.
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has faced little public brand support (let alone vindication). On allegation alone, Depp was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (of which he, arguably, is the face). Disney ditched the actor after The Washington Post published an op-ed by Heard in December, 2016. The piece – ‘I spoke up against sexual violence and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.’ – alleged that Depp was abusive toward her.
Since, Depp filed a $50 million defamation suit for the financial losses and impact her “elaborate hoax”, on his career.
I’m not saying that Disney was wrong to drop Depp on the allegations Heard levelled. It’s important (and it’s great) that the company took them seriously and acted as seriously.
What I take issue with, though, is that the same scrutiny – based on far harder evidence, isn’t being levelled at Amber Heard. In fact, throughout the long, complicated, and incredibly messy battle, her career and public image has remained pretty much in-tact.
While Depp lost his movie roles, Heard continued working on The Justice League, and Aquaman franchises. Even as hard evidence stacked up.
If she was a man she would have been dropped from every brand she was working with and they know it sorry for bringing gender into it but it’s a sad truth
— nehemiah collier (@dempsey226) May 24, 2020
It’s an ugly truth, but we must face it.
Yes men are victims of abuse; and, yes, women can be abusers.
If victims don’t believe they are supported, they won’t come forward. And a brand continuing to celebrate and support an [alleged, but] evidently abusive woman as a spokesperson for female empowerment is hypocritical, damaging, and toxic to everyone.
Sure, Amber’s right, it’d be nice if women could be held to a different standard, beyond the superficial. That’d be phenomenal. But that standard doesn’t mean we get to skip out of due punishment.
If this whole ‘female empowerment’ thing is legit, we can’t turn a blind eye. We cannot be apologetic to female abusers. We cannot treat male abusers (or victims, for that matter) with one standard and women with another.
That’s not equality, and you’re a fool if you think so.
Image Sources: Instagram (@lorealparis)