Johnny Depp made a surprise cameo appearance at the recent 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.
The actor was not there to present an award or perform, but instead his face was superimposed
onto the VMA’s trademark ‘Moonman,’ which was hoisted above the stage and floated over the
crowd during the ceremony.
Aside from a few European concerts with Jeff Beck, this was Depp’s first notable public
appearance since winning his multi-million dollar defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber
Heard, over a 2018 op-ed in which she described herself as a representative of domestic abuse.
Despite joking during the cameo that he was there because he ‘needed the work,’ Depp now
seems to be well into his post-trial redemption tour and has charted his career revival, with no
shortage of opportunities. He has booked multiple new film gigs, announced he is releasing an
album, created a TikTok account with over 16.5 million followers and re-upped his relationship
with Dior, signing a multiyear, seven-figure deal with the fashion house.
According to those present, audience members did not see Depp’s cameo, leading to
speculation that Depp’s Moonman segments were pre-recorded and his segments and the
subsequent applause were edited in for the television broadcast. It is likely that this was the
case due to the high chance that Depp’s appearance would have been met with a mixed
reaction from the audience.
The cameo appearance caught the attention of Amber Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez, who
lashed out at MTV via Instagram, calling the move ‘desperate’ and ‘disgusting’ and reactions
from the public have been divided.
However, regardless of the reaction, the fact that Depp was given such a large platform by MTV
is a devastating blow to survivors of domestic abuse, especially after such a complex and
damning trial, which did not in fact clear Depp of any claims of abuse, but rather just
condemned Heard for talking about her experience and labeling it as domestic abuse.
MTV’s decision to include Johnny Depp in such a high profile awards show sends a clear message that
once again, high profile men in Hollywood are able to live their lives to a different set of rules.