Johnny Depp joins Savage x Fenty show amid controversy

Image sourced from Photo by Kevin Mazur for Getty Images

Tamara Frieson, Staff Writer

This past week, singer and businesswoman Rihanna released her newest Savage X Fenty collection on episode four of her annual Amazon Prime Video show Savage X Fenty Vol. 4. This fashion show presented an all-star cast lineup, classic hip-hop and R&B hits and extraordinarily choreographed dance numbers. 

The singer is best known for her most recently released song, “Lift Me Up,” but is also known for her fourteen number-one hit singles and 31 top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. She is the president and CEO of makeup brand Fenty Beauty, and Savage X Fenty, a lingerie, underwear, sleepwear and loungewear brand that she founded to promote confidence and inclusivity in its design for people of all genders and sizes. Every year, Savage X Fenty holds a fashion show that focuses on Rihanna’s artistic vision for the year. This year, she took her position as a new mother and channeled it into her role as Mother Nature with a nature-inspired theme throughout the show. The show has been described by varying critics as eerie, mystical and enchanting as Rihanna unleashes her newest lingerie collection. 

Fans all over social media were shocked after seeing a 40-second clip of American actor Johnny Depp, 59, strutting through a fake forest runway to Outkast’s 2001 single “So Fresh, So Clean.” Depp is known for his roles in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the famously renowned “Pirates of the Caribbean” (2003). Viewers took to Twitter after the announcement of Depp’s appearance in Rihanna’s fashion show. When the show was finally released, audience members raved about his short but show-stopping cameo, while others critiqued Rihanna for hiring him for the show. 

It sparked a controversy that Depp was associated with her company following his court case with ex-wife Amber Heard. One fan took to Twitter to attack Rihanna’s artistic choice saying they thought “Rihanna had better ethics” than to choose Johnny Depp as a guest for her show. They continued by exclaiming that the collaboration was a “specifically wild way to plummet the positive, ‘inclusive’ brand recognition she’s been building for years.”

When the news of Johnny Depp being in the Savage X Fenty Vol. 4 show was released, Olly Alexander tweeted, “thank you, but after this news, I won’t be wearing it anymore,” where he received a tremendous amount of backlash from both Rihanna and Depp fans in the 1.4K replies that were continuously added to the thread. Although there were brutal critiques from a handful of social media users, most of the internet described the Johnny Depp and Savage X Fenty duo as “perfection,” with the hashtag #JohnnyDeppKeepsWinning trending on Twitter.

Although controversy arose over the casting choice, the internet was stunned by Depp’s surprise celebrity appearance modeling the monochromatic pajama set with a matching shirt robe and silver layered necklaces. Depp was reportedly “invited” by Rihanna and her team to participate in the show. She knew this collaboration could develop disputes but was very confident in her decision. As one fan put it, Rihanna “does what she wants” and doesn’t care about the internet’s opinion.

The 2022 Savage X Fenty fashion show was seen as an absolute showstopper by many with well-thought-out celebrity casting and a diverse group of models wearing the newest Savage X Fenty look of lace corsets, sheer underwear, fishnet bodysuits and sultry styles in deep purple and gold hues in textured fabrics like velvet and satin. Rihanna fans eagerly await the epic performance that will be the Super Bowl halftime show and the possible release of a new album.