Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson had some controversial things to say about "cancel culture" in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The actress failed to recognize her privileged position as Hollywood royalty and the protection that that can bring, instead, choosing to speak on behalf of alleged abusers Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, and Shia LaBeouf.
"I never experienced that firsthand from any of those people," Johnson said. "I had an incredible time working with them; I feel sad for the loss of great artists. I feel sad for people needing help and perhaps not getting it in time. I feel sad for anyone who was harmed or hurt. It's just really sad. I do believe that people can change. I want to believe in the power of a human being to change and evolve and get help and help other people. I think there's definitely a major overcorrection happening. But I do believe that there's a way for the pendulum to find the middle."
Johnson worked with Depp on Black Mass in 2015, Hammer on Wounds in 2019, and LaBeouf on The Peanut Butter Falcon in 2019. "The way that studios have been run up until now, and still now, is behind," Johnson continued. "It is such an antiquated mindset of what movies should be made, who should be in them, how much people should get paid, what equality and diversity look like. Sometimes the old school needs to be moved out for the new school to come in."
"Yeah, cancel culture is such a f---ing downer," Johnson said. "I hate that term." Depp was accused of violent assault in 2015 by his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, and is still locked in a libel case with her that is set to go to court in 2022. In 2021, multiple women accused Hammer of emotional abuse, manipulation, and sexual violence. A woman named Effie came forward in March and accused Hammer of violently raping her. He denied those allegations and entered rehab in June after he was dropped from multiple acting projects. In December 2020, LaBeouf was sued by his ex-girlfriend FKA twigs and faced allegations of sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress. The Honey Boy star released a statement at the time saying that "many of these allegations are not true," but he accepted "accountability" for his actions and entered a 12-step program.