The actor was in Spain to collect a prestigious award. The organisers had already faced a backlash for inviting the American actor, and he was then hit with more uncomfortable questions at the main press conference. Depp took the opportunity to share exactly what he thinks of his own treatment by Hollywood after being pushed from the Fantastic Beasts franchise following his high-profile court cases with ex-wife Amber Heard, and the wider dangers for everyone in the new “cancel culture.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean icon was invited to the prestigious film festival to accept the honorary Donostia Award, alongside fellow recipient Marion Cotillard.
Depp told the gathered journalists: “It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air.
“It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe.”
Depp said: “Hollywood is certainly not what it was. The studio system, the grudge matches, the pandemonium and chaos of cinematic releases to streaming… it is a case of, ‘no matter what, I’m going to get mine’. That’s where these people are coming from.
“Large, large corporations take control of these things. As someone who takes part in the creation of cinema, how much more formula do we need from the likes of studios? How much more condescension do we need as audiences?
“I think that Hollywood has grotesquely underestimated the audience.”
Depp was also believed to be addressing his own treatment in the press and by the film industry when he said: “It doesn’t matter if a judgement, per se, has taken some artistic license.
“When there’s an injustice, whether it’s against you or someone you love, or someone you believe in – stand up, don’t sit down. ‘Cause they need you.”
Last summer the actor lost his high-profile case against the Sun newspaper which had labelled him a “wife-beater.” Heard had appeared to give testimony.
Shortly afterwards, he was publicly released from the Fantastic Beasts franchise after only one movie, with five more to be filmed. His future in the Pirates franchise remains uncertain.