The billion-dollar fallout from Depp, Heard’s embarrassing video



All good things must end.

Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Friends, Real Housewives of Melbourne (just kidding), Tara Brown’s supporting role in Here Come the Habibs …

The list grows minute by minute.

On Monday, the saga that polarised Australia for the better part of a year – the so-called ‘War on Terrier’ – came to a close with one of the most spectacular apology videos ever filmed by a couple of Hollywood’s finest.

Depp and Heard film awkward dog apology
Depp’s wife Heard gets ‘good behaviour bond’
Who let the dogs in? Johnny Depp faces jail time
‘Johnny Depp’s dogs should bugger off’: Barnaby Joyce
Sandilands berates govt minister over Johnny Depp’s dogs

For those of you unfamiliar with the fracas, let’s bring you up to speed: Hollywood star Amber Heard brought her two pet dogs into Australia on a private flight to Queensland while visiting her husband (Johnny Depp, you may have heard of him) on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

Then-agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, flushed with rage over the quarantine breach, threatened to kill the dogs himself and told the stars to “bugger off” back home.

On Monday, the power couple walked the black carpet en route to the Southport Magistrates Court to answer for their sins. Heard received a one-month good behaviour bond (no conviction recorded) because she didn’t declare the dogs to customs.

The throng of hundreds of toolies, schoolies, fans, media, and both supporters and protesters made it seem like a bogan version of The People Vs OJ Simpson as Depp and Heard arrived at court. There were more police present than when the Royals visited Australia last year.

Avoiding incarceration and huge fines, Mr and Mrs Depp filmed a riveting apology video that gave new meaning to the word “contrite” and lacked only a wondrous credit crawl at the end that would have entitled it be eligible for an AACTA this coming year.

Watch Depp and Heard say sorry:

Heard admitted sheforgot to give the quarantine papers proper attention”, copped a $1000 fine and a 30-day “Good Behaviour Bond” but in reviewing the footage of their Walk of Shame, it’s obvious the journey from their limo to the courthouse put them in front of people who remind us why we have such strong anti-bikie laws in Queensland.

As a result, another Pirates of the Caribbean sequel will not be filmed in Australia until at least 200 years after Martin Bryant is eligible for parole.

While I am a proud Australian by choice and a staunch supporter of biosecurity laws to protect our country, by trade I am also a screenwriter and producer who is a fierce advocate for our fantastic and burgeoning international motion picture and TV industry.


Barnaby Joyce became the unlikely anti-hero in a quasi-Hollywood saga. Photo: AAP

I believe that Australia has done itself a big disservice by lambasting Mr and Mrs Depp and making an example out of them, especially as Mr Depp is the figurehead of the massively lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which means, at minimum, hundreds of millions of dollars to Australia, and thousands of jobs.

But more realistically, there could be a potential fallout of billions of dollars in foreign film investment and tens of thousands of jobs over the years to come if major studios and productions find Australia in the ‘too hard file’ due to the way it treats major stars.

I have written on this previously for The New Daily and the fiery riposte from Barnaby Joyce was also printed.

But, the law is the law and the Two Most Dangerous Animals In Australia © entered illegally last year and could have brought the entire nation to its knees with Celebrity Rabies ™ (did I just create a new reality show?).

Sadly, the Depps have departed. You can turn out the lights and close the door on this chapter of “Great Ways of Attracting Foreign Media Investment 101”, and now 24 million Australians can breathe a sigh of relief that the next time Ms Heard steps out of line – at least in the next calendar month – she will face the real Hounds of Hell.

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