With the landing on TikTok, Johnny Depp has become a living meme

With the landing on TikTok, Johnny Depp has become a living meme

With the landing on TikTok

For the past nine weeks, Johnny Depp has been TikTok and TikTok has been Johnny Depp. Now, after publishing just one post to thank his fans, the new account the actor recently opened on the platform has already surpassed fourteen million followers. If the actor's defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard turned Depp into a meme, landing on the platform that sanctioned his transition from Hollywood celebrity to social media influencer is the inevitable culmination of a world where everything is contained.

In the past the characters played by the actor, especially Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, had already become memes due to their extravagance, but now he is the same actor to have entered the same world as his over-the-top characters. "Depp's enrollment in TikTok is interesting because I'm not convinced it would have happened before the trial, or if the platform didn't play the role it played in producing content and influencing opinion," explains Rebecca Williams, an associate professor of media audience and participatory culture of the University of South Wales.

Vicious circle Depp's first post on TikTok - a video of him performing and walking past his adoring fans at the end of the trial, in which a jury found Heard guilty of defamation over an article in the 2018 of the Washington Post in which she claimed to be a "public figure representing domestic abuse" (without ever naming Depp) - represents a kind of thanks. "The appeal to the sense of connection and attention from the fans is evident," adds Williams. These feelings were amplified by TikTok's algorithm, which pushed Depp's content further into user feeds, creating a vicious circle that attracted more people and led to ever-increasing demand for content.

WiredLeaks, how to send us an anonymous report They are what Tom Divon, a researcher who deals with social media, communication and culture at the Hebrew University in Israel, defines "common paths of generational memetic communication": in short, the will not to want to feel excluded from a moment at the center of conversations. In 2022, the easiest way to participate in such a moment is to create content, in large quantities. On the platform, videos circulated that superimposed Heard and Depp's thoughts on images of the trial, while other footage found them guilty or innocent based on their behavior in the courtroom.

From the start of the trial in mid-April, TikTok became the platform to follow the process and Depp turned into a hero to his followers. Footage of the trial and reactions to its twists and turns invaded the platform. At the end of April, videos using the #johnnydepp hashtag had 11.3 billion views, with an additional 5.6 billion collected by #justiceforjohnnydepp. Now, views are nearing 34.1 and 20.4 billion. The two hashtags proved to be "extremely popular," according to TikTok's hashtag analysis tool: #johnnydepp and #justiceforjohnnydepp have been trending for the past 71 days and 58 days, respectively.

content has prompted users to create more and more videos to fuel the almost insatiable interest in the process. Compilations of key moments of testimony circulated, in which featured users accounted for developments in the trial, and conspiracy theories that Heard's lawyer was actually a fan of Depp, based on his presence at a premiere. The Lone Ranger, a 2013 film by Depp. To exploit the attention surrounding the case, a TikTok user has come to claim, without providing any evidence, that he is one of the members of the jury.

The algorithm of TikTok transformed the trial into a social media circus, in which outrageous legal comments were flanked by imaginative reconstructions of the events of the case, all served up to millions of users by TikTok's carefully refined algorithm regardless of their will ( TikTok declined a request for comment for this article.)

Depp's strategy The ubiquitous presence of Depp-related content on TikTok - which has now become a major driver of the debate cultural - made the actor's subscription to the app inevitable. "Even if the verdict was different, the opinion shaped by his tribe of TikTok was very influential," says Divon. Memes became facts and the gruesome details of what Depp allegedly said and did to Heard were debunked by the social media frenzy.

See more Choose the sportsgaming.win newsletters you want to receive and sign up! Weekly news and commentary on conflicts in the digital world, sustainability or gender equality. The best of innovation every day. It's our new newsletters: innovation just a click away.

Arrow The way his fans have helped reshape reality - often featuring Depp as a saint and Heard as an outcast - has flattered flattering 'actor. Given the ability of social media to bypass and even prevail over the reconstruction of events by traditional media, it makes sense that Depp wants to join the platform. For Williams, this is an evolution of the coverage Depp received in the week following the verdict, in which appearances in bars and concerts have consecrated him as a man of the people: "His public appearances in the UK have been framed as a demonstration. of his accessibility and 'normality', despite the crowds of fans waiting for him outside the hotels and clubs to greet him - says Williams -. The move to [join, ed] TikTok can be seen as part of the same strategy: to rehabilitate someone through social media, making him pass on this type of platform as a grateful person for fan support and accessible ".

Depp's commentary on his first - and so far only - video on TikTok alludes to just that : “We walked the same path together - wrote the actor -. We did the right thing together, all because you cared. And now, we will turn the page together ”. While the trial has brought him a huge number of new fans, it remains to be seen whether Depp really has a long-term interest in mixing with each other. "Is this just an easy way to draw fans into a space that Depp had already supported extensively during the process, or - Williams wonders -? Or is it the beginning of a new way of continuing engagement with those fans?"
The video provides some clues that help to understand if Depp really intends to bet on TikTok or if instead he will just use the app for a fleeting concession to his most avid fans. Much of the actor's video focuses not on fans, but on Depp himself waving from a moving car to the masses gathered outside the Virginia courtroom where his trial took place. "It was done by a middle-aged man who clearly didn't master the language of the platform - explains Divon -. I guess when you have followers rushing to your profile without a single video being posted, the only way one has to show gratitude is doing it as a narcissistic superstar. "

This article originally appeared on sportsgaming.win UK.

Powered by Blogger.