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Brie Larson Is Being Praised For Her Response To A Question About Johnny Depp At Cannes Film Festival And It’s Reminding People Of The “Insane Misogynistic Campaign” Against Her After “Captain Marvel”

Depp returned to the spotlight yesterday after his new movie was chosen to open this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where he also received a seven-minute standing ovation.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival is officially underway, but not without a helping of controversy.

actors standing at a panel in front of photographers

Yesterday, the annual festival opened with the world premiere of Jeanne du Barry, which stars Johnny Depp — marking his first lead role in three years following his legal disputes with his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

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The decision to kick off the festival with Depp’s film sparked a wave of backlash in light of the fallout from Heard’s abuse allegations against the actor during their highly publicized defamation court case last year.

closeup of amber and johnny

Though Depp won the trial and was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages in June, some have been disappointed by his swift return to the forefront of the industry, particularly in light of the fact that a UK judge ruled in 2020 that a tabloid’s claims he was a “wife beater” were “substantially true.”

closeup of johnny

Needless to say, the topic of Depp’s big-screen comeback was a notable talking point as the festival commenced yesterday, resulting in Brie Larson — who is serving on this year’s jury — being asked about the subject during a press conference.

closeup of brie on the panel

Seated alongside her fellow jurors ahead of yesterday’s opening night, the Oscar winner was left visibly uncomfortable when a Variety reporter singled her out and asked how she felt about Jeanne du Barry opening the festival, and if she planned on seeing it. (For context, the film is not in competition for the Palme d’Or, which means as a member of the jury, it’s not mandatory that she should.)

brie sitting with the other jurors

“You’re asking me that?” Brie responded, looking taken aback. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically,” she added.

closeup of brie speaking into a mic

The journalist clarified that the reason they’d aimed the question at her specifically and not her fellow jurors — including actor Paul Dano and a number of notable directors and screenwriters— was due to her “outspoken” advocacy for the Time’s Up movement — a non-profit organization founded in 2018 that raises money to support victims of sexual harassment, with a focus on women in film and TV industries.

brie waving on the red carpet

The Room star noted that she understood the justification, before offering a succinct response of her own.

closeup of brie on the jury panel

“Well, you’ll see, I guess, if I see it, and I don’t know how I’ll feel about it if I do,” she said briefly.

brie sitting alongside the other jurors

A clip of the exchange surfaced online, prompting fans to discuss whether the question was “genuine,” or if it was “designed to set her up for harassment,” both in light of the ongoing contention surrounding Depp and Heard, and the way Brie has been treated by the media in the past.

For a bit of context, Brie has faced intense public vitriol since she joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in the comic adaptation back in 2019.

closeup of brie at an event

Captain Marvel was the MCU’s first woman-led movie, however, Brie unfortunately wound up becoming victim to intense misogynistic scrutiny from Marvel fans who accused her of “ruining” the character after the movie received middling reviews.

closeup of brie

In fact, the backlash was so pervasive online and among Marvel fans that Brie acknowledged it last year when asked by a reporter how long she might play the character, responding: “I don't know. Does anyone want me to do it again?”

brie talking to a variety reporter at the disney expo

So, in light of the merciless scrutiny she’s faced from trolls in the past, some fans felt she couldn’t be blamed for “not wanting to subject herself to that again” by commenting on the notoriously contentious topic of Depp’s abuse allegations under those circumstances.

“Brie Larson has every right not to answer the question. She didn’t pick the film to be on the lineup, she isn’t responsible for Jeanne Du Barry being at the festival,” one person noted on Twitter. “The media would have taken her words and twisted them.”

“brie larson herself has been and still is a victim of an insane misogynistic campaign so i actually get why she would choose to be vague and evasive with her answers because whatever she says, on top of what she already experiences, especially online, she’s not gonna win,” agreed someone else, arguing that the question was a set up against her.

On the whole, there were a lot of people who praised Brie’s “excellent” handling of the question, which several fans described as “unnecessary” and intended as “bait” to rile up the “certain contingencies of the internet that don’t like her.”

“you can smell the ill intent coming from this question from a mile away,” someone tweeted. “this person knows brie was a victim of misogynist trolls, and they know any woman who was merely photographed next to amber caught a stray in the misogynist hate campaign against her.”

That said, there were plenty of others who felt that it was warranted to question the actor on the topic given her advocacy for Time’s Up — but also noted that it seemed calculated not to extend the question to her fellow jurors.

brie looking back over her shoulder at an event

“I think everyone participating in the festival should be asked that,” one person tweeted in the reporter’s defense. “I love Brie, but I also don’t think it’s a surprising or gotcha question.”

“hollywood feminism is very opportunistic and performative and every criticism about it is warranted, but I don't condemn brie for refusing to answer that question that seemed deliberately addressed to her in a way that sets her up for harassment no matter what she says,” someone else said.

Brie has not commented on the debate. However, she did ultimately attend the premiere for Jeanne Du Barry later that night alongside her fellow jurors, where Depp earned a seven-minute standing ovation and mediocre reviews for his performance in the film.

closeup of johnny