Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, I was sucked into the Depp vs Heard trial and easy enough to say, I’m not happy.
Because the real abuser here is getting away scot-free, and that abuser happens to be the general public.
Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
I’m not saying that just to be edgy or relevant or whatever you might be thinking, though. It’s genuinely a real problem and nobody is talking about it.
You see, Americans have become inherently abusive – to themselves and others. Sure, they (rightfully) decry domestic violence and abuse, but what do they do afterwards? They quickly dish out their own form of abuse onto others with opposing viewpoints or unfamiliar experiences.
This generates a sort of toxic tribalism that actively perpetuates abuse rather than working to end it, leaving us yet further away from solutions that could improve the domestic violence epidemic currently plaguing us and short on the empathy we need to even want to be better.
As I said: not good.
Of course, none of this suddenly appeared with the Depp vs Heard situation. We’ve had these issues for longer than you or I have been alive. The trial just highlighted it, served as an impetus of a public living in internal strife without knowing how to resolve it.
But I can’t help but wonder: why now? And what is the real motive behind making such a clearly dysfunctional situation so visible, so open to public opinion?
If it were solely about the domestic violence epidemic, we wouldn’t only use celebrities as the “spokespeople” for these issues. Frankly, we’d also be putting significantly more energy into resolving the root cause of such problems if that were the case.
Sure, you can argue that pulling these issues into the light of day can, in itself, make a difference. But we all know it’s unlikely to.
What we actually need here is action, empathy, and god forbid, solutions. In sick but all-too-human form, the Depp vs Heard case was seen as a source of entertainment.
People sat down to watch it, popcorn, or other snacks in hand, anticipating (and tacitly hoping) for the next twisted detail to be uttered before berating those who disagreed about who is guilty or innocent.
They － we － have turned what should’ve been a serious, private trial into public spectacle.
We’ve encouraged unhealthy discourse and righteous judgement over discussion, and that’s not only unhelpful, but that’s also abusive. Yet, it goes even deeper than us always wanting to be on the right side or allowing ourselves to be distracted from meaningful conversations.
Deeper at the core of this debacle is just more of the same old song and dance we all know: how much money can be made off the misfortune of others?
And here is the heart of the problem, where the real abuse lies. It perpetuates the broken human condition—little genuine comprehension, no boundaries, no empathy, no respect, no real-world solutions.
It’s a game about who can convince a jury and the public of who is most believable and who is most worthy of doubt. That’s it.
Sometimes the game works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it always exposes our society’s deepest dysfunctions, inspires the gross tribalism we revert to when our assumptions or viewpoints are challenged, and this trial has been a perfect example of that.
Yes, people are quick to “speak out” or “stand up” against abuse across social media and in living room viewing parties. But the irony is, this too often ends up a type of abuse. It adds to the very problem they claim to despise, and they feel good about themselves all the while.
In other words, the real abuser in all this is getting away － regardless of the legal outcome that’s been decided. It’s not fair but it’s real, and it’s left both Depp, Heard, and every other persons affected by abuse without the resources needed to bring about the healing they deserve.