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Petition to get Johnny Depp back on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6’ goes viral amid ongoing trial

Back in 2017, when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales was released, director Joachim Rønning confirmed this wasn’t the end of the franchise, then later in the year producer Jerry Bruckheimer suggested the sixth instalment was in development.

Anyone who’s been a fan of the Disney franchise since its very first instalment in 2003, The Curse of the Black Pearl, probably can’t fathom the next movie being any good without the iconic and witty Captain Jack Sparrow making an appearance. But after Amber Heard—Depp’s ex-wife—published a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post where she claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse, the actor alleged that his reputation and his career were ruined because of it, resulting in him being dropped from several big-budget franchises in the aftermath of its publication.

One of those projects was the sixth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. At the time, when Depp fans realised the legendary actor was not going to be involved in the highly anticipated addition—which led to it stalling in pre-production—they launched a Change.org petition addressed to Disney, pleading the mass media giant to bring back Depp’s role.

“Amber Heard ruined Johnny Depp’s life as well as career. […] This man never disappoints when he makes a movie, so why continue to keep him from doing Pirates of the Caribbean?? That movie is nothing without him! Please sign this petition to help Johnny Depp get back to what he enjoys and does best. If men get ridiculed for hitting women, and lose their jobs/career, then that’s exactly what should be happening to Amber Heard,” reads the petition’s overview.

Though it was created over two years ago, the attention Depp has received more recently—since he’s been battling it out with Heard in a $50 million defamation lawsuit that has been making the news on a daily basis—has also impacted the petition’s number of signatures.

Now, sitting at over 618,000 signatures and counting, according to Change, the petition is on its way to becoming one of the most signed ones on the platform. Many Depp advocates are also sharing their support for the actor in the petition’s comments section. One wrote, “He isn’t an angel but he is innocent! Amber Turd should be ashamed of herself,” highlighting the fact that, no matter the final verdict, the Aquaman actress’ own experience has been demonised from the very beginning of the trial. “Victims of domestic violence shouldn’t be penalised,” wrote another about Depp.

Regardless of whether the viral petition hits 1 million signatures or not, however, Depp himself has admitted in the past that even if Disney tried to bring him back, he wouldn’t accept the offer. In fact, he even said that if the entertainment company offered him “$300 million and a million alpacas,” he would refuse to come back to Pirates of the Caribbean.

The actor explained that he felt betrayed by the studio, saying: “Having added much of myself, much of my own rewriting, the dialogue, the scenes, the jokes, I didn’t quite understand how after that long relationship and quite a successful relationship with Disney that… suddenly I was guilty until proven innocent.”

More recently, another petition has surfaced online, one asking for Heard to be removed from Aquaman’s sequel. It currently has just under 4 million signatures.