Actress Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Tess in the upcoming Fast X film, recently refused to answer a question about Johnny Depp and his film, Jeanne du Barry, opening the Cannes Film Festival.
Larson was asked by a member of the press, “[You’ve been] sort of outspoken and very vocal advocate for Time’s Up and MeToo, I’m curious how you feel about Johnny Depp’s film opening the festival and do you plan to see it?”
Brie Larson was surprised to be asked about Johnny Depp’s opening film: “You’re asking me that? I’m sorry, I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically.” https://t.co/5Ec2S23051 #Cannes pic.twitter.com/QPfO1Yb4qS
— Variety (@Variety) May 16, 2023
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Larson replied, “You’re asking me that? I’m sorry I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically.” The member of the media explained, “You were on the advisory council, celebrity advisory council for Time’s Up. I think the Johnny Depp case has been well played out in America and international media, there’s been some controversy about that film being chosen to open Cannes, so I’m just curious if you will see it and how you feel about it’s selection here.”
She answered, “You’ll see I guess if I see it. And I don’t know how I’ll feel about it if I do.”
Larson’s is drastically different from just a few years ago when she infamously accepted a Crystal Award in 2018 and declared, “I don’t need a 40-year old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about A Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what that film meant to women in color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial.”
“And for the third time, I don’t hate white dudes,” she said. “These are just facts. These are not my feelings.” Larson went on to advocate for inclusion riders in film contracts.
.@brielarson‘s Crystal Award acceptance speech was characteristically wonderful and I’m sorry I didn’t capture the whole thing on video. It was centered around @Inclusionists‘ film critics diversity study that was released this week. #CrystalLucys pic.twitter.com/qPjzjSjfKz
— Rebecca Sun 孫洪美 (@therebeccasun) June 14, 2018
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While promoting Captain Marvel in an interview with InStyle, Larson said, “The movie was the biggest and best opportunity I could have ever asked for. It was, like, my superpower. This could be my form of activism: doing a film that can play all over the world and be in more places than I can be physically.”
That activism is indeed the inclusion riders she discussed at the Crystal Awards, which mandates racial quotas for actors and production staff. Larson told the outlet, “Inclusion has to be a choice; it’s not happening naturally. You really have to fight for it.”
In April 2019, Larson appeared at Tina Brown’s Women in the World conference in New York where she commented on the #MeToo movement, “I was so grateful. So grateful for the strength and continued to be grateful for that strength because it has created this tidal wave of conversation that I don’t feel like has stopped or will stop anytime soon.”
She added, “It across industry changed things. It certainly changed my industry. We still of course have a long way to go, but it without a doubt is the reason why we have this historic shift is because of the bravery of the men and women who came forward and spoke up about the abuse they were experiencing.”
She later indicated she would use any privilege she had to make the changes she wanted to see, “If I have any sort of privilege, I immediately want to spend it. Whatever that currency is, I’m spending it immediately. I’m not going to hold onto it and hope that I put it into some account and it makes more money. I want to spend it because we need the change now. And I’m really not afraid of falling on my face because I’ve done it my whole life. I’m just kind of like bring it.”
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As noted by the member of the media, Larson was also part of the Time’s Up movement. She shared her support for the organization repeatedly on Twitter back in 2018. In one tweet she wrote, “Together we can end harassment, discrimination and abuse from the power imbalances we all face in the workplace.
#TIMESUP – Together we can end harassment, discrimination and abuse from the power imbalances we all face in the workplace. #WhyWeWearBlack and tell us why you stand with @TIMESUPNOW Love you : @RWitherspoon @iamrashidajones @kerrywashington @TessaThompson_x @TraceeEllisRoss pic.twitter.com/gfPMMgv9Ap
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) January 7, 2018
As reported by The New York Times the organization’s main goals were to create a legal defense fund “to help less privileged women — like janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels — protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it”; pass “legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims”; “reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies that has already begun making headway”; and “request that women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes speak out and raise awareness by wearing black.”
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The organization clearly spawned out of the #MeToo movement which also led to Amber Heard’s accusations against Johnny Depp in an article in The Washington Post where she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse.
She wrote, “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
“Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted. A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman,” she added.
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Depp would sue Heard in a Fairfax County, Virginia court for defamation and that she “acted with malice.” Following the court’s proceedings, the jury found that Heard defamed Depp and did so “with malice” by publishing them in The Washington Post.
The jury initially awarded Depp $10 million for Heard’s defamatory statements and $5 million for publishing them. The jury also found that Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman was guilty of defamation for a number of statements he provided to the press about Heard and awarded her $2 million.
Larson had no problems weighing in on the #MeToo movement before or expressing her feminist activism. It begs the questions as why she chose not to weigh in now and on this instance.
What do you make of Larson avoiding the question despite her previous comments and activism?
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