(NewsNation) — Move over politics, war, pandemics and Elon Musk … Hollywood celebrities still command the public’s attention like nothing else.
Data shows more Americans are following the Amber Heard v. Johnny Depp defamation trial than other, arguably more significant, current events.
An article by Axios shows that the number of social media interactions on posts about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard surpass that of articles about Roe v. Wade, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Elon Musk, inflation and COVID-19.
In other words, the internet has been obsessed with the trial between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
The hashtag #justiceforJohnnyDepp has almost 12 billion views on the popular social media app Tik Tok. Google trend data shows a spike in the number of people searching “abortion” when the draft opinion leaked, but even that spike does not come close to matching the number of people searching “Amber Heard” just two days later.
NewsNation’s Dan Abrams, who founded the Law and Crime Network, said the Depp-Heard trial has drawn more than 1 million viewers per hour to the site’s YouTube page, a record-setting pace.
People have gathered nationwide to protest the ruling on Roe v. Wade and people have also gathered across the globe to show their support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia. But people have also gathered outside the courthouse where the Depp-Heard trial is happening to cheer for Depp and even boo Heard.
People have even camped out near the courthouse.
“I’ve met only two or three people who have came here to support Amber Heard. The rest of the people that line up at the courthouse at 1 a.m. and sometimes earlier to get wristbands to get into the courtroom are hardcore Johnny Depp supporters,” said Angenette Levy, a reporter for the Law and Crime Network who has been covering the trial.
The phenomenon that is the Depp-Heard trial has dominated the attention of the public, despite other, truly world-altering events happening around the globe.
“I think this is captivating because we have been told for years now that Johnny Depp did this, that he is an abuser,” Levy said. “Now, we have audio recordings where that’s in dispute and where Amber Heard is essentially challenging him to tell the world he is the victim of domestic violence.”
At one point, Depp made a comment about alpacas in court, which in turn caused some fanatics to begin showing up to the courthouse with alpacas, Levy said.
Depp and Heard have sparked important discussions about domestic violence in relationships, but more than anything, they have once again shown that not even war in Europe or historical moves by the government can take people’s attention away from the glow of Hollywood stardom.