The women of “The View” opted not to explicitly take sides in the case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but host Sunny Hostin did express her thoughts on the verdict itself on Thursday. And for her, Depp’s larger win does not fly in the face of the #MeToo movement, as some have suggested.
On Wednesday, a jury awarded Depp $15 million in his defamation case against his ex-wife, while Heard was only awarded $2 million. In her statement following the trial, Heard wrote that the decision “sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”
The hashtag #MeToo started trending almost immediately, with expressing similar concerns as Heard, and worrying that Depp’s win effectively destroyed any progress made by the movement. But, for Sunny Hostin, it was important to remember one key aspect of #MeToo.
“I don’t think it’s the death of the #MeToo movement,” Hostin argued. “Because if you really look at the stats, one in three women certainly are physically abused, one in four men are physically abused. So, the notion that the #MeToo movement only applies to women is really a misnomer.”
Meanwhile, host Sara Haines pointed out that Tarana Burke, the founder of the MeToo movement, has argued that this particular case doesn’t even really fall into the realm of what MeToo was created for. It did originally start as a social movement specifically against sexual abuse and harassment, as well as rape culture.
“To not put words in her mouth, what I was trying to think is, Tarana Burke was trying to empower the silenced, and people that weren’t heard, weren’t seen, didn’t have a voice,” Haines said. “I would think the distinguishing factor in this — not to minimize anything that went on in this courtroom — is these are people with platforms, with voice, with resources. So I think she was trying to distinguish that, don’t just group it all together because this was not the spirit of the movement that’s been kind of co-opted.”
Guest host Tara Setmayer argued that the bigger detractor was that the trial itself was turned into a “celebrity spectacle.” For her, allowing cameras in the courtroom allowed both Depp and Heard to “act” and doing so “cheapens” the broader conversation around sensitive topics like abuse.