How peculiar Halloween is in 2023. We were aware that the SAG-AFTRA strike prohibitions on celebrities’ Halloween costumes would provoke thought-provoking veers, if not outright disobedience. If nothing else, the inability of some celebrities to think of a character or object to dress as that isn’t already depicted in popular TV series or movies exposes the boundaries of their creativity. A few people made the decision to dress like celebrities, which brings us to Emily Hampshire.
There are plenty of well-known figures to dress up as, so if you want to stick with your strike-supporting theme for your costume, that’s a totally acceptable choice. Why did Hampshire decide that dressing up as Johnny Depp in a couple’s costume with a friend dressed as Amber Heard was the right thing to do on this cursed earth and in this cursed time?
I’m not here to rehash the legal proceedings surrounding Depp’s successful lawsuit against his ex-wife for calling herself an abuse survivor. It was a sinister period when Depp was rewarded for his heinous actions and when people treated a trial involving domestic abuse like a lighthearted drama. It was pretty disgusting how openly misogynistic some people found this moment. Lance Bass, a former boy band member, even performed a twerk to Heard’s testimony, probably because he enjoys dancing to stories of domestic violence. And he wasn’t the only one! At the time, people didn’t just don’t believe a woman who told of her abuse—they also took pleasure in her suffering. Cruelty is still a stain on us because
Putting on a Depp and Heard costume is offensive enough, but the real kicker is when you use a wine bottle as a prop. Alleged or not, domestic violence is not a Halloween costume. It’s unfortunate to learn that Hampshire sees an abusive and toxic relationship as material for an amusing costume, as someone who has followed Hampshire’s career since falling in love with Stevie on Schitt’s Creek. We cannot and do not know what is on Hampshire’s mind or heart, as I often remind people. We do know for a fact that she chose to dress like Johnny Depp and make clear allusions to his alleged mistreatment. Hampshire removed the images from social media, suggesting that she at least
It should go without saying that, even as a lighthearted joke, don’t dress up as an accused abuser on Halloween. I realize that these days, we’re all infatuated with true crime stories due to osmosis, but it’s just not right to binge on a tale that’s as dark as a ghoul.