Americans Care More About Depp-Heard Trial Than Abortion, Report Says

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

amber heard as mera (left) and johnny depp as captain jack sparrow (right)

Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for $50 million for defamation after she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

amber heard (left) and johnny depp (right) in formalwear on bighorn red carpet
Credit: ABC

Heard is countersuing for $100 million, arguing that he “defamed her when his former lawyer released statements saying her allegations of abuse were a hoax.”

Related: Inside the Magic Goes “Rogue,” Article Used as Evidence In Depp Trial

As the very public trial has gone on, with Mr. Depp testifying last week and Ms. Heard taking the stand for the last few days, the Internet has exploded with people giving their opinions on the abuse allegations.

johnny depp amber heard trial

A new report by Axios claims that Americans are more interested in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial than abortion, a topic heavily reported on the past few weeks after someone leaked a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

The leaked draft by Justice Alito rules that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “must be overruled.” The 1973 decision guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights, and a subsequent 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, further maintained the rights.

supreme court bench
Credit: Supreme Court of the United States

Protests have broken out nationwide since the draft leaked, but the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial has outweighed the public interest in abortion.

From Axios:

America more interested in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial than abortion

In a brief article, Axios wrote, “There have been double the Google searches for Amber Heard than for Elon Musk over the last month, according to Google Trends data. There have been nearly 4x more searches for her name than for abortion or the Supreme Court.”

amber heard and johnny depp
Credit: FilmDistrict

Axios cites media networks’ coverage of the trial like a live sporting event as a reason for the increased public interest. They interviewed Rachel Stockman, President of Law&Crime Network:

“Hands down it’s a record setter for us,” said Rachel Stockman, president of Law&Crime network. Average daily viewership on the Law&Crime app is 50x higher than before the trial. There are around one million viewers per hour of the trial on Law&Crime’s YouTube channel alone.

Amber Heard Johnny Depp
Credit: ABC

They also blame meme culture and streaming on YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok, writing:

Dozens of memes have gained huge traction online, like a viral meme of Amber Heard’s crying face that has plastered TikTok, Snapchat and other social outlets, and clips of Johnny Depp passing along doodles to his lawyer in court.

“Consumption has changed for trials like this,” Stockman said, referring to how different the numbers were even a year ago during Law&Crime network’s coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial last June.

“We’re seeing 10-15x the number of viewers for this trial than we normally do across platforms, but most specifically in YouTube. … We’re seeing bigger and bigger audiences on Twitch.”

Left - Johnny Depp holding a Disney Legends handprint / Right - Amber Heard
Credit: D23 (left) / Amber Heard Instagram (right)

Overall, Axios writes that “social media is its own court of public opinion, even if the evidence doesn’t match the memes.”

Wired confirms this, reporting that the hashtag #justiceforjohnnydepp has over ten billion views while #justiceforamberheard only has 39 million.

Are you following the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial? 


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