For over three decades, Johnny Depp has transcended the silver screen and reached the hearts of millions of people throughout the world. He is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved actors to ever grace Hollywood – and his repertoire of films continue to draw in new fans on a regular basis.
As much as Depp is respected among his fans and the public, we have all become accustomed to his off-the-cuff behaviors at award shows, in interviews, on the streets, and so on. He can be described as unique, insanely creative and even a bit quirky. However, his behaviors at the Hollywood Film Awards last week drew a different kind of attention than he has ever received before.
Upon taking the stage to present the documentary award for Mike Myers’ “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”, it was obvious that he was not in his typical Johnny Depp state of mind. His complaints about the microphone he was given quickly turned into curse words, slurred speech, and no-so-funny jokes. The audience gazed on in amazement, and many of them laughed along uncomfortably with the famous movie star. As the teleprompter got away from him, the Hollywood Film Awards quickly cut him off and began showing the trailer for the documentary.
This was one of (if not the first) time that Depp has been this out of character in public. Many people began speculating that he was under the influence of alcohol – or even worse – drugs and/or a combination of the two. From his misguided speech and cussing to his stumbling and mumbling, what else was the public supposed to think?
Now, it can be difficult to not immediately accuse a famous celebrity who behaves this way of having a bigger problem that what meets the eye. However, based on commentary from the media, the idea that Depp could be just another Hollywood actor gone bad is highly upsetting. In fact, many reporters have commented on how they don’t know if Depp is struggling with a substance abuse problem, and are uncomfortable speculating because “it’s Johnny Depp.”
So, where does the line get drawn? Does someone like Johnny Depp get a free pass for his seemingly intoxicated behaviors simply because he is a famous movie star? To many people, the answer is yes. Even the thought of someone like Depp struggling with an issue such as substance abuse can be upsetting to any fan. However, does that mean we just sweep this incident under the rug?
While we might never know what got into Johnny Depp that night (literally and figuratively), it is important that we keep ourselves and our loved ones aware of the behaviors that often come with substance abuse. It is also critical that we practice healthy ways of living that include learning how to say “no” to substance abuse and the pressures to use – whether that pressure comes from the neighborhood or from Hollywood.