Dior have released a new ad for its Sauvage perfume starring Johnny Depp that sees the star wandering around the desert while his co-star Canku One Star of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe does a dance while wearing a traditional Native American headdress and outfit.
Yup. You can see where this is going.
Despite Dior making it clear that the ad was made in “close collaboration” with Native American consultants to make sure they don’t do anything wrong, folks on the internet quickly jumped all over Dior for cultural appropriation and calling the ad offensive and racist. However, one particular sticking point for many people was the company’s decision to include Johnny Depp.
While he’s been a face for the company’s ads since 2015, this particular one touched a nerve with many people due to his previous, unfounded claims of having Native American ancestry when he was cast as Tonto in 2013’s The Lone Ranger.
Depp was later made an honourary member of the Comanche Nation by LaDonna Harris, but it’s not quite the same as being an actual, you know, Native American and folks rightfully pointed out that he doesn’t speak for all Native Americans just because he says he thinks he is.
Dior has since deleted the ad but the company and Depp have yet to issue out a statement in response to all the backlash. But the bigger sticking point from all of this is: why is Johnny Depp even still a thing?
Sure he may have been a big Hollywood box-office draw back in the early 2000s but all that Pirates of the Caribbean goodwill ran out ages ago. He’s not exactly lighting up cinema screens with his performances nor are his movies exactly raking in the big bucks like they used to.
No one is exactly lining up to see Jack Sparrow any more.
But beyond the waning interest in his career, the whirlwind of legal troubles surrounding Depp should be more than enough for everyone to keep away from him with a 10-foot pole.
Besides the cultural appropriation stuff, there’s a history of drugs and alcohol, reports of him being an absolute nightmare to work with and a history of legal problems involving his tendency to assault people.
Then there’s the whole thing with his now ex-wife Amber Heard, who accused him of being physically and verbally abusive during their marriage, which has resulted in both parties suing and counter-suing each other.
The fact that Johnny Depp keeps getting free passes is becoming an issue and it’s about time we close the door on such a problematic person. Sure he’s been in some great movies but we can do without seeing him around for a while.