Club night is sorry for its 'Johnny and Amber' themed event

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Photo credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE - Getty Images
Photo credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE - Getty Images

The whole world seems to have been intensely following Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's incredibly public defamation lawsuit and we've seen people commenting and posting about all over our social media – everyone, so it would appear, has an opinion.

And now a club night in Edinburgh has been criticised by domestic abuse campaigners for taking it way too far and “trivialising sexual violence”. Flare in Edinburgh, promoted a pirate-themed student night at nightclub WhyNot, with an image that showed Amber Heard and Johnny Depp underneath the sentence: “Let’s Get Ship Faced”.

In the promo pic – which was posted and subsequently deleted on Flare Edinburgh's Instagram – Amber wears an eyepatch while Johnny is wearing a pirate hat and a pair of sunglasses with a huge 'Flare' gold chain dangling around his neck.

Photo credit: @flareedinburgh
Photo credit: @flareedinburgh

Scottish Women’s Aid have commented that the defamation case between the divorced actors shouldn't be used as “fodder for a light-hearted night out”.

“We feel this promotional image is trivialising highly publicised, upsetting accounts of domestic abuse and sexual violence," Marsha Scott, the chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, told student publication, the Edinburgh Tab. "Domestic abuse is not entertainment. Sexual violence is not fun.”

She said the image sends the message “that women and young people experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence will not be believed or valued in WhyNot. That their experiences are a joke that can be utilised as the basis for a club night. The decision to run this ad to increase business does a disservice to survivors, to customers, to the neighbourhood, and to Edinburgh.”

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO also commented: “The online narratives surrounding the broadcast of this trial are very troubling, with the same terrible tropes being seen and heard about survivors of abuse. It will be deeply triggering for survivors to hear and see these harmful stereotypes.

“This is a dynamic we see being played out time and again. Victim blaming of survivors and negative tropes in social media are not just potentially re-traumatising for survivors, they may well deter others from coming forward to seek justice.”

The image was posted to Instagram on Tuesday 24 May, but it was taken down after the Edinburgh Tab got in touch with Flare for a comment. It was replaced with a picture of a moon over the sea.

A spokesperson for Flare Mondays responded to the student newspaper with the following: “After reading these comments we appreciate the views [...] and have since amended our artwork for the event.

“We regularly engage with our student community who suggest event ideas. This event stemmed from the many memes on the internet circulating specifically about the ‘mega pint’ and there was never any intention to trivialise what is going on in the trial. We apologise if the artwork caused any offence, this was not the intention.”

If you need help or support, or have found coverage of the trial triggering, contact Women’s Aid on their 24/7 helpline, 0800 027 1234


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