TV

What Netflix’s Depp v. Heard Documentary Gets Wrong


Netflix’s latest docuseries about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial is mostly objective but still requires context.

Amber Heard seen on a cellphone in Netflix's Depp v. Heard.
Photo: Netflix

Depp v. Heard, Netflix‘s latest docuseries about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial falls victim to a common documentarian fallacy. It mistakes editorial balance for truth.

In an interview with Variety, Depp v. Heard director Emma Cooper describes her approach to the series thusly: “My intention, right from the start, was to make a cogent and interesting reflection of what happened without using interviews or experts.”

The director then goes on to report that she’s encouraged by the split reaction she’s received from both Depp and Heard supporters, saying: “You know, it’s a balanced level of hate. I pride myself that it tends to be very 50/50.”

Cooper can be forgiven for interpreting divisiveness as success. We live in divisive times, after all, and nowhere was that more apparent than in the case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

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