Johnny Depp has said that cancel culture is out of control. He has said that it can come for anyone at any time. While receiving honors at the San Sebastian Film Festival, he made clear that cancel culture has had a major impact on his career. Anyone watching the last few years for the actor can see that his career has definitely been affected by public opinion. Following his controversial divorce from Amber Heard and the many resulting lawsuits, Johnny Depp was asked to resign from Fantastic Beasts 3, and hasn’t been seen much in Hollywood since. Now, he has a new animated project on Amazon Prime. The mobile-first series, Puffins, may already be facing its first controversy.
Puffins appears to be a wholesome story promoting themes of environmentalism. It uses absurd, but child-friendly, themes to explore difficult topics like gender equality and racism. The show itself has yet to suffer much controversy, but that may change now that a video of Johnny Depp shaking the President of Serbia’s hand has been released online. While Puffins is being made through an Italian production company, the show itself is being made in Serbia. While promoting the project, Johnny Depp visited the country and the studio where it’s being made.
Shaking the hands of a president is usually an honor. However, this moment with Johnny Depp is very controversial. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has been in office since 2017. He has a history of allegedly supporting violence and violent figures. For example, he once gave a speech after the Srebrenica Massacre in 1995. He was quoted saying, “For every Serb killed, we will kill 100 Muslims.” This quote is sometimes seen on banners in cemeteries and around the country, even today. While some support these messages, others condemn them. The President of Serbia has been accused of supporting the convicted war criminal Ratko Mladić. The president has said his conviction was “unjustified”. Rumors of the president naming streets after the convicted criminal spread online, but have been reportedly proven false.
It’s hard to guess which online controversies will become something that cancel culture pays attention to. Outside of Johnny Depp’s ongoing relationship making commercials for Dior, his career has been very quiet lately. Whether his relationship with Serbia will affect Puffins remains to be seen.
Follow-up photos have shown Johnny Depp behind the scenes during his studio visit, seeing where the team makes Puffins in person. Those meet and greet photos can be seen below.
In the new animated shorts, Johnny Depp plays Johnny Puff. He and the other puffins in the series work for a walrus, who is known for being a bit of a grump. The series is already available to watch on Amazon Prime Video in select countries.
Currently, Disney is working on finding its way forward with its Pirates of the Caribbean films. While some have remained hopeful that Johnny Depp will return to play Jack Sparrow again, it seems doubtful that the studio will cross cancel culture and make that decision. Despite that, Johnny Depp has publicly said that no one can ever take the character away from him. It’s something he holds dear.