The San Sebastian Film Festival have defended their decision to award Johnny Depp an honorary prize amidst accusations of domestic abuse.
The festival announced last week on August 10, that Depp would receive the Donostia award later this month, the highest honorary award anyone can receive at the festival.
However, the announcement immediately led to backlash with many accusing the festival of supporting “abusers.”
“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, the president of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers, told the Associated Press.
In a statement released on August 13, the festival’s director José Luis Rebordinos defended the decision to give Depp the award.
“According to the proven data which we have to hand, Johnny Depp has not been arrested, charged nor convicted of any form of assault or violence against any woman,” Rebordinos said.
The statement also voiced the festival’s commitment to fighting “inequality, the abuse of power and violence against women.”
Earlier this year in March, Depp lost a bid to overturn a libel case that concluded he had assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard.
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