Amber Heard: Why Is She So Hated on the Internet?

Unless you’ve been giving social media a very wide berth for the past month, then you’ve definitey caught wind of the endless drama surrounding the Johnny Depp-Amber defamation trial.

One would have to harken all the way back to OJ Simpson’s 1995 murder trial to find a celebrity court case that so thoroughly captivated the public.

Both parties have leveled appalling allegations of abuse at one another, and it should be evident to any who’s even passingly familiar with the testimony that this relationship was deeply toxic from the very beginning.

Depp took the stand first and alleged that Heard punched, put out cigarettes on his face, and defecated in his bed as an act of revenge.

Heard completed her testimony on Monday, and those who willing to listen were stunned by her claims about Depp’s behavior.

Unfortunately for the actress, by that time, the court of public opinion had mostly made up its mind.

Heard recounted an incident in which a drug-addled Depp performed a “cavity search” after accusing her of stealing and hiding his cocaine.

Heard Testifies

She alleged that Depp sexually assaulted her with a glass bottle during a violent confrontation that took place in Austalia while he was filming the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

In the years since the #MeToo movement began to shine a light on abuse and sexual violence against women in Hollywood, many victims have come forward with stunning survival stories.

But Heard’s situation is different from most, in that she’s encountered far more resistance than support from the public.

Amber Heard Takes the Stand

Not only that, many of those who doubt her story are women themselves, and their skepticism about her allegations often takes the form of seething vitriol hurled at Heard and her supporters.

And it’s not just social media users who are angry at the actress.

This past weekend alone, both Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live played the trial for laughs, with Maher accusing Heard of using fake tears to manipulate the jury.

Johnny Depp Testifies

That sort of snide commentary has been a constant throughout the trial, and Heard has been on the receiving end of far snark than Depp.

The case is undeniably complicated, and it appears that both parties struggled with addiction and behaved violently toward one another.

But the fact remains that Heard took the stand, leveled appalling allegations of abuse at her ex-husband, and the response from millions of Depp fans has been mockery and smug disbelief.

Amber Heard Testifies

A recent Atlantic Monthly article about this phenomenon uses the term “Deppford Wives” to describe the army of women — many middle-agedor beyond — who have remained firm in their support for the actor.

“Makes me sick listening to Amber Heard,” one Twitter is quoted as saying.

“Literally amber heard is the plague,” another wrote.

Amber Heard Speaks Out

A Heard supporter identified only as Rebecca (she wished to remain anonymous so as to avoid harassment from Depp fans) attributes this ill will to a toxic mentality among Depp’s most obsessive fans.

“We hang so much of our own identity on these things that we love,” she told The Atlantic.

“So if those things are threatened, you either have to admit that you’re sort of a bad person for liking those things or you have to convince yourself that everyone else is wrong.”

Amber Heard In the Courtroom

The article also quotes Hilde Van den Bulck, a professor of communication at Drexel University, who describes the phenomenon of anti-fandom.

The term describes people who derive part of their identity from the things they hate, the same way that fans express themselves through the things they love.

Anti-fans of Heard’s, Ban den Bulck explains, might not be fans of Depp’s but that doesn’t necessarily prevent them from finding belonging and a sense of community among people who hate the actress.

Amber Heard Outside of Courthouse

We probably don’t need to tell you that this mentality is disressingly common on social media these days, and it infects everything from sports coverage to political discourse.

And now, a televised trial is fanning the flames of blind hatred toward a 36-year-old actress and single mom who’s involved in a nightmare legal battle.

Even if she wins the trial, which seems probably, it’s unlikely that Amber Heard’s life will ever return to any semblance of normalcy.

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