A group for female filmmakers in Spain is speaking out against the San Sebastian International Film Festival for honouring embattled actor Johnny Depp with its highest award.
The President of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, Cristina Andreu, spoke to the Associated Press on Tuesday, saying the move to honour Depp sends a “terrible message” after a judge ruled last year that allegations of domestic violence against the actor were “substantially true.”
“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’,” Andreu said of the decision.
The group has strong ties to San Sebastian and is looking over “next steps” regarding how else to respond.
The award in question is the Donostia Award, given at the festival every year to mark lifetime achievement in film. The festival is set to be held next month, with Depp expected to attend in person.
Depp pursued a libel case against U.K. tabloid The Sun after the paper alleged the 58-year-old abused his then-wife Amber Heard and he lost the case last year. A court refused the actor’s appeal of the decision in March, saying his ambition to overturn the ruling had “no real prospect of success.”
The actor is also suing his ex-wife for $50 million (£36.1 million) over a Washington Post article in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
The trial for that case is scheduled for April 2022.