Johnny Depp fans have a new target for their outrage on the actor's behalf: The Animaniacs. The cartoon reboot premiered on Hulu this weekend, and Depp's fans were incensed to find that it contained a joke calling Depp a "liar." In the wake of Depp's dismissal from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, his fans are trying to spark a boycott of the new Animaniacs show.
The Depp joke was quick, subtle and easy to miss in one of the 13 new episodes of The Animaniacs. It was contained in a movie poster seen over Yakko's shoulder, which showed an exaggerated cartoon version of Depp scowling with a pair of scissors in his hand. The title read: "Johnny 2: Telling Lies," indicating to some fans that the show was calling Depp himself a liar. This did not sit right with them, especially since Animaniacs comes from Warner Bros., which is the studio that just asked Depp to resign from Fantastic Beasts 3.
Depp resigned by choice and said that he understood the casting decision, though fans were still outraged on his behalf. Many have been looking for ways to express their outrage to Warner Bros., and since The Animaniacs leans so heavily into its association with the studio, this seemed like a good place for a boycott to some.
However, chances are that the Animaniacs Easter egg was not related to the Fantastic Beasts decision. As the Warner siblings themselves tell you in the opening episode, their reboot was written in 2018, so Depp's case was at a very different point back then. That did not stop Depp's die-hard fans from coming out in full force this week. Here is a look at what they had to say.
okay, so the screenshot of the Johnny Depp joke from the new Animaniacs is circulating.
i just want to clarify that it's actually a reference to the childrens' "Johnny Johnny Yes Papa" videos on youtube.
it's still pretty poorly executed/timed, though. pic.twitter.com/hzSF0dW1Dl— CHELLE D☯GGOBBLE 🦃🍂 (@ChelleDoggo) November 22, 2020
Ughhhhh. Just like how boomers ruined Looney Tunes Cartoons’ reputation by whining about how Elmer Fudd doesn’t use a gun, ppl are accusing the Animaniacs reboot of making fun of Johnny Depp. It’s a reference to Johnny Johnny Yes Papa, not to the abuse allegations smh— ★ Gabriela ★ (@GabrielaToon83) November 22, 2020
In the Animaniacs' fast-paced style, many fans missed the fact that this Depp reference was also a send-up of an obscure meme from 2018, based on a low-budget animated children's show. Since this reference was out of date, fans argued that this was one more reason to remove the joke from the show.prevnext
#BoycottWarnerBrothers Some defend this because the reboot was written in 2018 and was capitalising on the Johnny Johnny Yes Papa meme, but considering Depp was a polarising topic for the entire year plus new info even if above was true, they should have just edited it out. pic.twitter.com/gAgMzqfGKh— Sir K (@SirKillalot98) November 22, 2020
Some fans argued that Animaniacs should have removed the joke about Depp before the big premiere, in light of recent events. They still aimed their ire at the studio itself, believing that executives had a hand in this decision.prevnext
Out of Context
So I’ve watched the entire Animaniacs sequence. The song is about reboots etc. The only thing that is not about reboots, is the Johnny Depp part. The poster shows Depp with the title “Telling Lies 2” which basically shows that WB are saying he is lying about AH.— Come Geek Some (@ComeGeekSome1) November 22, 2020
Some thought that the Depp joke was shoe-horned into the song it was in, and did not really match the tone of the episode overall. They believed that Warner Bros. had gone to extreme lengths to insert a joke at Depp's expense here.prevnext
I'll pass. Especially after that disgusting Video with Johnny Depp and the Animaniacs. Use to love this show, but you now have ruin it for me and my family.— Harleycosplay (@Harleycosplay1) November 22, 2020
I loved the tucker carlson animaniacs clip but idk if I'll watch the show because of the Johnny depp thing— ~*Rae Y7 and Age of Calamity*~ *COMMISSIONS OPEN!* (@Jigglypuffite) November 22, 2020
As the creative team behind the Animaniacs reboot tweeted about their work this weekend, many commenters informed them that they would not be watching specifically because of the Depp joke.prevnext
I'm looking forward to my inevitable viewing of the #Animaniacs reboot, but one thing I won't do is laugh at Johnny Depp!— Jymmberlynn (@Jymmberlynn) November 22, 2020
Some fans admitted that they were watching the Animaniacs reboot anyway, in spite of its dig at Johnny Depp. A few in this camp even said that once they saw it, the joke was not as harsh as they expected.prevnext
2020 is so wild I didn’t know whether #BoycottWarnerBrothers was trending because they’re supporting Amber Heard but firing Johnny Depp, because they’re making the fantastic beasts films with JK Rowling, or if Snyder cultists were upset about a joke in #Animaniacs— 𝕝𝕛𝕨𝕣 • Lewis 😷 (@ljwr_) November 22, 2020
With all the outrage circulating online these days, some fans were confused when they first saw "Boycott Warner Brothers" trending. Some thought it might be in relation to another production, such as the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League coming soon.prevnext
lolol there's already a second season, they ordered 2 off the bat it isn't getting cancelled for this one dumb joke just wait for people to remember animation takes years to do— S.C MacPeter (@SCMacPeter) November 23, 2020
Fearing the impact of the boycott, some Animaniacs fans tried to get their own opposing hashtag trending, "Save Animaniacs. However, The Animaniacs was already given a two-season order, so more episodes are on the way regardless, unless Hulu decides to void that contract.prev