Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire has issued an apology after facing criticism for her Halloween costume portraying Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
The 42-year-old Canadian actress, best recognized for her role as Stevie Budd in the US sitcom, came under scrutiny on Tuesday (October 31) for sharing images of her and a friend dressed as the former celebrity couple. Hampshire promptly deleted the snapshots from her social media, but TMZ later published the images, depicting the pair in attire reminiscent of the couple’s highly publicized 2022 defamation trial.
Hampshire mimicked Depp with a beige suit, slicked-back hair, and makeup resembling his facial hair and tattoos, while her unidentified friend sported a ruffled shirt, black skirt, and wide-rimmed glasses, and emulated Heard’s appearance from the trial, notably displaying a perpetually sorrowful expression, attempting to portray her crying.
We're really curious what you guys think about this one.
Emily Hampshire from Schitt's Creek dressed up as Johnny Depp, with her friend as Amber. The photo got on TMZ and she was shamed into apologizing, for being tasteless and insensitive.
Do you think it's funny or gross? pic.twitter.com/OEmJlCMMF3
— Hollywood Horror Museum (@horrormuseum) November 2, 2023
Accompanying their costumes, they posed with props alluding to viral moments from the trial, including a wine bottle and a fake excrement prop.
The actress faced immediate backlash online for the costume, with some asserting that she was ridiculing the 37-year-old Aquaman actress. Criticism emerged on social media, with one person questioning, “@emilyhampshire, do you disdain victims of domestic abuse? Good to know,” while another condemned the action as “absolutely depraved.”
Additional comments emphasized the inappropriateness of using real people who’ve faced domestic a*use and s*xual a*sault as subject matter for mindless entertainment, denoting a lack of empathy and humanity.
In response to the outrage, Hampshire issued a written apology on Instagram, acknowledging her action as “thoughtless, insensitive, and ignorant.” She expressed deep remorse for her choice to dress as Depp and Heard, admitting it was a severe mistake to depict real issues involving real people in such a manner. She stressed that domestic abuse is never a matter to joke about and expressed profound regret for her actions, promising to do better in the future.
The comments section displayed a mix of supportive and critical messages. Some thanked Hampshire for acknowledging her mistake, labeling the costume a “bad idea,” while others expressed shock and appreciation for her apology.
Expressing disappointment in the poor taste of the costume, another individual stressed the lack of humor in such matters and noted the importance of taking responsibility for mistakes.
The controversy stemmed from the couple’s highly publicized defamation trial from April to June 2022, where Depp and Heard faced off in court. Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard after she penned an op-ed in The Washington Post, referring to herself as a domestic abuse survivor amid their tumultuous divorce in 2016. Despite the trial ending with a verdict in Depp’s favor, it sparked immense public interest and ongoing discussions.