A bizarre and disturbing trend has swept across TikTok over the last several days: Dozens of posts on the short-form video service — some amassing millions of views — have used video or audio from Amber Heard’s wrenching testimony in the Johnny Depp trial, with the creators of the videos dramatically reenacting it, doing dances to it or otherwise mocking her.
The trend includes one video, which has more than 30 million views in five days, with a video clip of Heard emotionally testifying on the stand, with a sound of Kim Kardashian in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch saying, “Ew, this is so cringe. Guilty.”
Another viral TikTok is this video, viewed more than 14 million times since it was posted Sunday, that features a cat with a blond wig (supposed to represent Heard) and as Depp’s Jack Sparrow in “The Pirates of the Caribbean. As previously reported reported by Rolling Stone, the 9-second video uses audio of Heard from the trial saying, “I said, ‘Johnny, you hit me. You just hit me.’”
According to TikTok, it has removed several such videos that use Heard’s testimony, which the company says violate its anti-bullying policies. TikTok’s Community Guidelines state in part that is prohibits “Content that disparages victims of violent tragedies.”
But in addition to the two videos cited above, numerous TikToks that excerpt audio and/or video from Heard’s testimony — and use it in an abusive way — remain still on the platform.
In testimony last week, Heard told jurors about several instances when Depp hit her, screamed at her and shoved her to the ground. “This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything,” she said on the stand on May 4. “This is the most painful and difficult thing I have ever gone through.”
Depp has sued Heard for $50 million, alleging that she destroyed his career by alluding to her domestic abuse allegations in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post (although she did not name him in the piece).