Naomie Harris has a simple message for media outlets: Stop “appealing to people’s base instincts, which are to be titillated and intrigued, and instead appeal to people’s higher nature.”
The “No Time to Die” star spoke out against the viral coverage of Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard. Harris, who previously worked with Depp on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, slammed the “disturbing” amount of coverage for the “very private case” in an interview with The Independent.
“It’s hard not to have followed that case because it was so rammed down our throats every day,” Harris said. “It was all over social media, all over the news, everywhere. I think there’s something quite disturbing about that, actually, because there are some serious events happening in the world that deserve much greater airtime than they’re having because this kind of thing is being aired.”
Harris continued, “I don’t understand why, with something that should have been a very private case between two people, the whole world was allowed access to it. I find it really bizarre and problematic. We televised that but not Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, which is much more relevant and important. I have real issues with that.”
As to discussions over whether Heard being found to have defamed ex-husband Depp in a Washington Post op-ed citing domestic abuse, Harris weighed in on the verdict’s effects on the MeToo movement.
“It’s way more powerful than one particular case and one individual,” Harris said of the “extremely powerful” reckoning in Hollywood. “It has a momentum that will not be derailed, it’s too entrenched. It will continue. Changes as a result of the MeToo movement are in place now.”
Harris previously spoke out about being groped on set when a “huge star” put his hand up her skirt when she was auditioning. Even during the first few days of production for the Showtime series “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” Harris cited inappropriate behavior from one person but there was no “hesitation” to remove them.
“So many projects that I work on, the producers now stand up and give speeches and say, ‘We have a zero-tolerance policy about any form of bullying or sexual harassment on the set,’” Harris, who supports the UK Time’s Up-founded Independent Standards Association, explained. “In fact, we did have an incident on our set. That individual, it was his first day on set, and he was removed straight away. I think that just goes to show how much the industry has changed.”