An online petition to have actress Amber Heard dumped from Aquaman 2 has reached almost three million signatures as her defamation case with ex-husband Johnny Depp continues.
More than 2.9 million people had signed the Change.org petition, which asks franchise executives to “do the right thing” and remove Heard from the Warner Bros sequel, by Monday afternoon (Australian time).
Heard played Mera in the franchise’s first film, alongside Jason Momoa, and is set to return for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in 2023.
“Amber Heard has been exposed as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp,” the petition begins, recounting moments of Depp’s defence from the tumultuous third week of the trial.
The petition writes that Heard “has systematically crusaded to ruin Depp in Hollywood, repeating multiple accounts of fake incidents in which she had actually abused Johnny Depp, but lied and created false accounts of him being the abuser”.
The protest has a goal of three million signatures – and gained its more than 900,000 most recent figures in just 10 hours to Monday afternoon.
Created by US poet and writer Jeanne Larson in 2020 after Depp was dropped from his role in the Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts franchise, the petition also hones in on Heard’s 2009 arrest for reportedly abusing a former partner.
Larson writes that this demonstrates “a repeated pattern of abuse by Amber Heard”.
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, is yet to take to the stand in the trial. Depp is seeking $50 million in damages.
“As Amber Heard is a known and proven domestic abuser, Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment should and must remove Heard from their Aquaman 2 film project,” the petition reads.
“They must not ignore the suffering of Heard’s victims, and must not glamorise a domestic abuser.”
It ends by saying that violence against men “must be recognised”, and that action “must be taken to prevent a known abuser from being celebrated within the entertainment industry”.
Depp is suing Heard for $69 million over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post, in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. He was not named in the article, but says it contributed to an unfairly ruined reputation that made him a Hollywood outcast and cost him roles in Fantastic Beasts and in the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean.
The trial resumes on Tuesday.