Rihanna faces backlash for featuring Johnny Depp in Savage X Fenty show

Rihanna has come under fire on social media for inviting Johnny Depp to be a featured star in the upcoming Savage X Fenty fashion show on Nov. 9, 2022. Getty Images

It appears Johnny Depp will be welcomed back into the entertainment sphere with open arms, though it’s not without criticism.

Depp, 59, will make a cameo appearance in Rihanna‘s highly anticipated Savage X Fenty fashion show, alongside a number of other celebrities and influencers.

The 40-minute show is the fourth of its kind for Rihanna’s incredibly popular lingerie and sleepwear brand.

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A press release for the upcoming show called the event a “seductive fashion fever dream.” Depp was not mentioned in the press release in the long list of notable people taking part.

Though Depp will not be on the catwalk, his pre-recorded cameo will come halfway through the show, to the tune of Outkast’s So Fresh, So Clean.

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Leaked images of Depp for the fashion show have already circulated online.

Neither Depp nor Rihanna has commented publicly on the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s involvement.

News of Depp’s participation in the show, which was first reported by TMZ, triggered instant conversation on social media, with many calling for Rihanna and her team to #DitchDepp.

Depp remains a polarizing figure following the highly publicized defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, which concluded in June. Depp sued Heard over a 2018 op-ed she penned for the Washington Post, in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The jury awarded Depp US$10 million in damages and provided Heard a partial $2-million win. Both Depp and Heard have appealed the verdict.

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In 2020, Depp lost a similar case in the U.K., in which he sued the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife beater.” A U.K. judge decided The Sun’s claims were “substantially true.” Heard testified in court to back The Sun’s claims. Depp appealed the verdict but was denied.

Though Depp won his most recent case, public sentiment for the actor is very clearly divided.

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Many fans of Rihanna, 34, have expressed either their confusion or support for Depp’s participation in the fashion show, given it is widely known that the singer herself was a victim of domestic abuse. In 2009, her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown was arrested and pleaded guilty to physically assaulting Rihanna.

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Other celebrity appearances at the Savage X Fenty fashion show, as per the press release, include Simu Liu, Cara Delevingne, Bella Poarch, Kornbread, Lilly Singh, Rickey Thompson and many more.

The Savage X Fenty fashion show will be available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Wednesday.

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