LinkedIn user sparks outrage by creating a fake Johnny Depp and Amber Heard transcript to promote himself

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DEPP-HEARD-ENTREVISTA (AP)
DEPP-HEARD-ENTREVISTA (AP)

A LinkedIn user has sparked outrage by creating a fake “final trial conversation” between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in order to advertise his technical recruiting skills.

After a six-week trial, Depp won his defamation case against Heard, who was ordered to pay her ex-husband $15m in damages. However, Heard received a partial win in the case, as well, as she was awarded $2m in compensatory damages.

Following Depp’s win, multiple memes about his case have gone viral on social media. On LinkedIn, Shawn Barnes created a fake transcript between Heard and Depp as a form of advertising. According to his profile, Barnes is a technical recruiter at GTN Technical Staffing and Consulting.

In his post, Barnes shared the “bombshell” conversation, taken place at the end of Depp and Heard’s trial.

The transcript begins with Heard repeatedly asking Depp to “look at” and “talk to her,” before he told her that he had “nothing to talk to [her] about”. As he said“goodbye” to Heard, she asked him multiple times if he “still loves [her]”.

In his response, Depp encourages Heard to listen to him, before praising Barnes and encouraging data analysts to work with him.

“Amber, this might be the last time we ever speak, so please listen to me very carefully,” he said. “If you know of a Data Analyst with experience in Python, SQL, A/B testing and Excel, you absolutely need to call Shawn Barnes with GTN Technical Staffing. He is the best!”

As of 15 June, the post has more than 217,000 likes on LinkedIn, with some users finding amusement in this recruiting post.

However, Barnes’ transcript sparked outrage as Twitter users asserted that the fake dialogue is an inappropriate form of advertising.

“Not a fan of people using Johnny Depp and Amber’s court case as a way of advertising themselves on LinkedIn,” one wrote. “Like …. Don’t do this?”

“I can’t be the only one who thinks using that lame a** fake transcript post of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard over LinkedIn is really cringe,” another wrote. “Like what are we doing here y’all? Ugh LinkedIn is truly a dumpster fire.”

A third user added: “This is so gross, don’t even know what to say. This has 10s of thousands of likes on LinkedIn.”

Some Twitter users emphasised that fake dialogue between Heard and Depp is not a suitable form of marketing because the lawsuit was about domestic abuse, as Depp had sued Heard for $50m for implying that he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. She countersued him for $100m.

“The whole ‘convo btw Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at the end of the trial’ hiring meme trivialising domestic violence circulating on LinkedIn is pretty bad form,” one wrote. “But ironic is the amount of engagement on it from women whose bios are pro-gender equality - big yikes.”

“My LinkedIn feed is full of #recruiters sharing a post using the Johnny Depp trial as a punch line to promote positions. [domestic violence] isn’t a joke or a [marketing] tool,” another added. “Your attempt to be clever by using other people’s trauma for profit is embarrassing. This is why your jobs won’t get filled.”

This isn’t the first time a fake “final trial convo” between Heard and Depp has been used for advertising purposes. On Twitter, realtor Matt Salit shared a made-up transcript where Heard asked Depp if she still loved him, before sharing Salit’s occupation.

“This might be the last time we speak, so listen to me. If you ever need a #realtor, call Matt Salit,” the actor in the dialogue.

Twitch streamer Buck, who posts videos about sports, also used the fake dialogue trend on Twitter, in order to encourage people to subscribe to his channel.

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