Disney CEO Is 'Not Worried' About Johnny Depp's Alleged Abuse

June 24th 2016

Almie Rose

Bob Iger, Disney CEO, gave an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that revealed some deeply troubling thoughts on Johnny Depp's alleged abuse of ex-wife Amber Heard.

Iger was discussing the new theme park Shanghai Disneyland, which will feature Depp's character, Captain Jack Sparrow:

Do you have Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean in the park?


Reporter Matthew Belloni then asked Iger about Depp's current abuse allegations, referring to them as "personal problems," and Iger had this to say:

And Johnny Depp's personal problems?

Not worried about it.

The scandal will pass?

I don't know whether it passes or not. We have Jack Sparrow.

You think people separate.


Of course they have Jack Sparrow. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the fourth installment in the Disney franchise made more than $1 billion in the global box office and isn't even the first "Pirates" film to do so (that would be "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest").

That Johnny Depp's pirate character will still be celebrated at a brand new theme park is troubling, because it shows that men like Johnny Depp can get away unscathed; in contrast, Amber Heard is dropping her request for spousal report because, according to her statement, it may "distract and divert the public away from the very real issue of domestic violence."

This very real issue appears to be taken less seriously when the man accused of the domestic violence is in a Disneyland park.


A photo posted by @disneychellebelle on

That Belloni refers to Depp's allegations as "personal problems," is also troubling; it's as though he's asking Iger about any allergies that Johnny Depp may have.

We need to change how we talk about abuse.

Language is important. The words we use are important. That Iger would say he's "not worried" because "we have Jack Sparrow" is like saying that none of these very serious allegations matter at all — and this is part of the reason why many women are afraid to report domestic violence.

Iger may not be worried, but they are. They're worried to leave. They're worried that if they speak out they either won't be believed, or they won't get emotional support. "We have Jack Sparrow" is like Iger confirming their fears.

"Many survivors do not exhibit behaviors that, to those of us outside the intimate relationship, may seem unusual or even bizarre," according to the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "It is important to remember that, as an outsider to the abusive relationship, we are not living with the daily threat and fear of abuse or death."

[H/T Jezebel]