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Rihanna’s decision to include Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in her Savage x Fenty Volume 4 show has irked many. As per a TMZ report, the Pirates of the Caribbean star will be making a cameo in the upcoming show. The news has caused an uproar as supporters of Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, called out the popular singer for the aforementioned inclusion. 

According to Variety, “His brief cameo follows in the vein of other celeb moments, like Cindy Crawford’s appearance in the 2021 Savage X Fenty showcase.”

The lineup for the Volume 4 show includes Rihanna herself, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever actor Winston Duke, Abbott Elementary Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, Marvel’s Shang-Chi star Simu Liu, Empire star Taraji P Henson, Irina Shayk, Marsai Martin and performances by Burna Boy and Anitta.

News of his cameo was met with backlash by some online, who have called on Rihanna’s brand to #DitchDepp. Many users were shocked as Rihanna, a survivor of domestic abuse was supporting Depp, who has been accused of alleged abuse by Heard. Rihanna had previously opened up about her and Chris Brown’s volatile relationship in a sit-down interview with Oprah in 2012.

The Backlash

A user shared, “Even if Rihanna believes he’s innocent (which he’s not), not only is he still a racist and homophobic rape apologist, but he’s also BFFs with Marilyn Manson who he loved to collect nazi memorabilia with. that’s who she wants to work with and have to represent her brand.”

Another added, “Rihanna is a billionaire, so that’s strike one. One minute she’s not performing at the Super Bowl in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the next minute she’s announcing she is and for some reason, she invited Johnny Depp to be part of her show. Morals where?”

One tweep added, “The fact that it was Rihanna who wanted to work with Johnny tells you everything you need to know.”

A Twitter user further shared, “Johnny Depp has been embraced as a hero by unhinged right-wing misogynist extremists, and now he’s been invited to appear in the Savage x Fenty show. Never expected such a powerful woman to succumb to the Me Too backlash. Really disappointing, Rihanna.”

One user went on to comment, “Savage x Fenty is already a flop adding Johnny Depp to the mix is just another example of how out of touch Rihanna actually is.”

A user shared, “Rihanna is for real so weird for bringing Johnny Depp into her show. No one was talking about this man until the trial. the ONLY reason he’s relevant is for beating women. like where is her head.”

One wrote, “Rihanna really saw a man that hasn’t used shampoo in months and put him in a fashion show, I can’t.”

Another shared, “Rihanna can’t be serious? with all these beautiful and unproblematic men in Hollywood, and Johnny Depp is the one that appeals to you the most?”

The Savage X Fenty Vol 4 show is described as a “fashion experience” and will include performances from Anitta and Burna Boy, plus cameos from models including Irina Shayk, Cara Delevingne, and Precious Lee. It will premiere on Prime Video on 9 November.

Rihanna’s abuse ordeal

In 2015, Rihanna had shared her own ordeal of being abused in 2009 by her then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown. The Diamonds actor had shared that she felt she had been “punished over and over” by the attention surrounding her assault at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. The singer had then opened up about the repercussions of the 2009 incident in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Asked about becoming “a poster child for victims of domestic abuse”, she had said she felt forced to relive the “very serious” incident by the media. She told the magazine, “Well, I just never understood that, like how the victim gets punished over and over. It’s in the past, and I don’t want to say, ‘Get over it,’ because it’s a very serious thing that is still relevant; it’s still real.”

Photos: Rihanna and Chris Brown through the years | CNN

Adding on, Rihanna had commented, “A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through it. A lot of young boys too. It’s not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can’t just dismiss it like it wasn’t anything, or I don’t take it seriously. But, for me, and anyone who’s been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it.”

She had further commented, “So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like. Do I have to be punished for it? It didn’t sit well with me.” Brown was sentenced to five years of probation following the assault.

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