Tarana Burke, who started the “Me Too” Movement years before it would become a viral hashtag, stressed in a statement Thursday that the movement is “very much alive.”
Burke said people try to “kill” the hashtag “every few months” as a sport, but that “it means something to millions and millions of folks.”
How the trial played out on social media alarmed experts.
“It’s not just that the extremely serious issue of domestic violence was turned into a lurid spectacle on social media, but also that mainstream media and public discourse so thoroughly bought into the misogynist narrative that obscured the underlying — and straightforward — legal issues,” Mary Anne Franks of University of Miami’s School of Law told CNN Business on Wednesday after the verdict.
It “is women’s speech that has been most feared, and thus extensively regulated, criticized, and prohibited throughout American history,” she wrote in 2019, adding that “a mass movement of women speaking out about experiences and abuses that have long been suppressed, such as the #MeToo movement, should be praised as the quintessential exercise of free speech.”
The Depp v. Heard trial, she said Wednesday, essentially boiled down to “a digital-age witch trial,” noting the intent was “to roll back the minor progress made by the #MeToo movement.”
The pro-Depp fervor was particularly evident on TikTok. Shortly before the verdict was read, the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp hashtag had garnered 18.8 billion views, while #JusticeForAmberHeard had amassed just 68.2 million.
“It’s a massive celebration on TikTok right now for Johnny Depp,” Ashley Roberts, a TikTok user who previously found herself in the crosshairs of pro-Depp supporters and men’s rights activists for expressing a differing viewpoint, told CNN Business Wednesday evening.
“It wasn’t a total absolute loss for her,” added Roberts, referring to Heard winning part of her counterclaim, a fact that she said isn’t acknowledged in many celebratory posts.