Spain’s preeminent group of female filmmakers is taking the San Sebastian International Film Festival to task for announcing Monday that it would give Johnny Depp the Donostia Award at the festival next month. The award is the top honor of the festival and is meant to commemorate lifetime achievement.
“This speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership, and transmits a terrible message to the public: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor,’” Cristina Andreu, President of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
The association has close ties to the festival, celebrating its 69th edition from Sept. 17 to 25, and is “studying next steps” said Andreu, who was “very surprised” by Monday’s announcement.
The condemnation follows a British judge’s ruling in a libel case last November that the allegations of domestic violence against the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 58, leveled at him by former wife Amber Heard, were “substantially correct.”
Earlier this year, the “Sweeney Todd” actor was denied permission to appeal the ruling.
Depp is also suing his ex and “The Rum Diary” co-star for $50 million in Virginia concerning a domestic violence op-ed she published in The Washington Post in 2018. That trial was recently postponed until next April.