A Change.org petition in support of Johnny Depp’s return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has reached well over 559,000 signatures.
The petition, titled “Justice for Johnny Depp,” requests that Disney allow Depp to return to his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the franchise and that he was fired under false presumptions about his character. Kimberly Giles, the petition’s organizer, wrote, “Amber Heard ruined Johnny Depp’s life as well as career.”
“Johnny Depp deserves his life back the way it was before Amber Heard came along, because no actor or actress could ever say this man is not an amazing actor,” Giles wrote in the petition. “If you were falsely accused of something you did not do, then there’s proof you didn’t do it and you still were treated like a bad person, wouldn’t you want Justice??”
The petition goes on to say, “Johnny Depp deserves to continue his [role] as Sparrow. I believe that removing him was a mistake on your end but quite stupid if you ask me … Please have a change of heart and do not release that movie without Johnny Depp.”
The petition, which has been ongoing for two years now, has been made out to The Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger (Chief Executive Officer of Disney), Christine McCarthy (Chief Financial Officer of Disney), and Alan N. Braverman (Vice President of Disney).
Another, even older, petition for Depp’s return to the franchise as Jack Sparrow has well over 796,000 signatures and counting. While the petition makes no mention of the alleged abuse and defamation trial, many of those who signed the petition have mentioned Heard and believing male victims of domestic abuse.
Jack Whigham, Depp’s talent manager from Creative Artists Agency, testified last week that Heard’s Washington Post op-ed damaged the actor’s reputation and lost him a role in the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Whigham told the court that he lost out on $22.5 million with the loss of the role following the publication of Heard’s op-ed, which the ACLU has revealed was ghostwritten by their staff.
He went on to say that in early 2019 it “became clear [Disney producers] were going in a different direction” that did not involve Depp. “After the op-ed, it was impossible to get him a studio film, which is what we normally would have been focussed on in that time period.”
Additionally, Depp was “asked to resign” from his role in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise in 2020 after he lost his libel case against The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.”