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约翰尼·德普诽谤案与女性所承受的恶意

The Actual Malice of the Johnny Depp Trial
约翰尼·德普诽谤案与女性所承受的恶意

The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial was, from gavel to gavel, a singularly baffling, unedifying and sad spectacle. Now that it has ended with the jury finding in favor of Depp on all questions and in favor of Heard on only one, it’s clear that the confusion was the point.

从头到尾,约翰尼·德普-安珀·赫德诽谤案的审判场面都堪称莫名其妙、不堪入目且极其可悲。现在结果出来了,陪审团在所有问题上都支持德普的主张,对赫德有利的判决只有一条,由此可以看到,混淆视听才是目的所在。

Why did Depp, who had already lost a similar case in Britain, insist on going back to court? A public trial, during which allegations of physical, sexual, emotional and substance abuse against him were sure to be repeated, couldn’t be counted on to restore his reputation. Heard, his ex-wife, was counting on the opposite: that the world would hear, in detail, about the physical torments that led her to describe herself, in the Washington Post op-ed that led to the suit, as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

为何已经在英国输掉一场性质相似的官司的德普要坚持重回法庭?他不能指望靠公开审判来恢复名誉,因为在这过程中,关于他肢体虐待、性虐待、情感虐待和药物滥用的指控肯定会再次出现。他的前妻赫德则希望看到相反的结果:即让全世界了解她所受身体折磨的细节,那些经历让她在《华盛顿邮报》的那篇导致这场诉讼的专栏文章中自称是“代表了家暴问题的公众人物”。
 

在判决结果公布之前,德普其实就已经胜诉。看起来是一起再明确不过的家暴案件,却演变成了“双方都有过失”的闹剧。

Even before the verdict came in, Depp had already won. What had looked to many like a clear-cut case of domestic violence had devolved into a “both sides” melodrama. The fact that Heard’s partial victory, which involved not Depp’s words but those spoken in 2020 by Adam Waldman, his lawyer at the time, can be spun in that direction shows how such ambiguity served Depp all along. As one commenter on The New York Times site put it, “Every relationship has its troubles.” Life is complicated. Maybe they were both abusive. Who really knows what happened? The convention of courtroom journalism is to make a scruple of indeterminacy. And so we found ourselves in the familiar land of he said/she said.

在判决结果公布之前,德普其实就已经赢了。这原本在很多人看来是一起再明确不过的家暴案件,但却演变成了“双方都有过失”的闹剧。事实上,赫德的部分胜诉(与德普的说法无关,而是因为德普当时的律师亚当·沃德曼在2020年的发言)会被歪曲至此,说明了混淆视听一直都对德普有利。正如《纽约时报》网站上的一位评论者所说,“每段关系都有各自的麻烦。”生活是复杂的。或许他们二人都有虐待倾向。谁知道究竟发生了什么呢?法庭新闻的报道惯例就是创造出些许不确定性。于是,我们就又陷入了一出熟悉的罗生门。

We should know by now that the symmetry implied by that phrase is an ideological fiction, that women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have a much harder time being listened to than their assailants. I don’t mean that women always tell the truth, that men are always guilty as charged, or that due process isn’t the bedrock of justice. But Depp-Heard wasn’t a criminal trial; it was a civil action intended to measure the reputational harm each one claimed the other had done. Which means that it rested less on facts than on sympathies.

现在我们应该明白,这种说法所暗示的势均力敌是一种意识形态上的杜撰,比起攻击她们的人,遭受家暴和性侵犯的女性更难以被倾听。我并不是说女人一定会说真话,或男人都是罪有应得,或是正当程序并非正义基础。但德普-赫德一案并非刑事审判;这是一起民事诉讼,为的是厘清他们声称对方给自己造成的名誉损害到底有多少。这意味着此案的审理更多是基于同理心而非事实。

In that regard, Depp possessed distinct advantages. He isn’t a better actor than Heard, but her conduct on the stand was more harshly criticized in no small part because he’s a more familiar performer, a bigger star who has dwelled for much longer in the glow of public approbation. He brought with him into the courtroom the well-known characters he has played, a virtual entourage of lovable rogues, misunderstood artists and gonzo rebels. He’s Edward Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow, Hunter S. Thompson, Gilbert Grape.

在这个方面,德普的优势很明显。作为演员,他并不比赫德更出色,但赫德在证人席上的表现受到了更严厉的批评,很大一部分原因是由于德普知名度更高,作为更大的明星,他沐浴在公众赞誉中的时间更长久。他扮演过的知名角色跟着他一起出庭,这一群虚拟随从中有惹人爱的无赖、被误解的艺术家、还有狂野怪诞的反叛者。他是剪刀手爱德华、杰克·斯派罗、亨特·S·汤普森和吉尔伯特·格瑞普。

We’ve seen him mischievous and mercurial, but never truly menacing. He’s someone we’ve watched grow up, from juvenile heartthrob on “21 Jump Street” to crusty old salt in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. His offscreen peccadilloes (the drinking, the drugs, the “Winona Forever” tattoo) have been part of the pop-cultural background noise for much of that time, classified along with the scandals and shenanigans that have been a Hollywood sideshow since the silent era.

我们见过他的顽皮和善变,但从没见过他真正的恶意。从《龙虎少年队》(21 Jump Street)里的少年男神,到《加勒比海盗》(Pirates of the Caribbean)系列的执拗老水手,我们是看着他成长起来的。他在银幕之外的种种小过失(酗酒、嗑药、“永远的薇诺娜”文身)可以说是当时流行文化背景音的一部分,自默片时代以来,这类丑闻与闹剧一直都属于好莱坞的边角戏。

In his testimony, Depp copped to some bad stuff, but this too was a play for sympathy, of a piece with the charm and courtliness he was at pains to display. That he came off as a guy unable to control his temper or his appetites was seen, by many of the most vocal social media users, to enhance his credibility, while Heard’s every tear or gesture was taken to undermine hers. The audience was primed to accept him as flawed, vulnerable, human, and to view her as monstrous.

在他的证词中,德普承认了一些糟糕的事,但这也是为了博同情,是一场他煞费苦心想要展示魅力和谦恭的戏码。在许多敢于表态的社交媒体用户看来,他装出无法控制脾气或欲望的样子提高了他的可信度,而赫德的每一滴眼泪或每一个动作都削弱了她的可信度。观众早就接纳了他的缺陷、脆弱和人性,却将她视为洪水猛兽。

Because he’s a man. Celebrity and masculinity confer mutually reinforcing advantages. Famous men — athletes, actors, musicians, politicians — get to be that way partly because they represent what other men aspire to be. Defending their prerogatives is a way of protecting, and asserting, our own. We want them to be bad boys, to break the rules and get away with it. Their seigneurial right to sexual gratification is something the rest of us might resent, envy or disapprove of, but we rarely challenge it. These guys are cool. They do what they want, including to women. Anyone who objects is guilty of wokeness, or gender treason, or actual malice.

因为他是男人。名声总与阳刚之气相辅相成。知名男性——运动员、演员、音乐家、政客——之所以知名,部分原因就是他们代表了其他男性渴望成为的样子。捍卫他们的特权,就是保护和维持我们自身特权的一种方式。我们想让他们成为坏男孩,打破规则并逃脱惩罚。我们其他人可能会怨恨他们享有封建贵族式的性满足,但我们很少挑战这种特权。这些家伙太酷了。他们为所欲为,包括对女性。任何反对的人都“觉醒”了,或是犯下了背叛性别罪,又或是真正的恶行。

Of course there are exceptions. In the #MeToo era there are men who have gone to jail, lost their jobs or suffered disgrace because of the way they’ve treated women. The fall of certain prominent men — Harvey Weinstein, Leslie Moonves, Matt Lauer — was often welcomed as a sign that a status quo that sheltered, enabled and celebrated predators, rapists and harassers was at last changing.

当然也存在例外。在“#我也是”时代,有些男性已经因其对待女性的方式而入狱、失业或声名扫地。某些显要男性——哈维·韦恩斯坦、莱斯利·穆恩维斯、马特·劳尔——的倒下往往引来叫好,标志着掠夺者、强奸犯和骚扰者总被庇护、纵容和颂扬的现状终于得到了改变。

A few years later, it seems more likely that they were sacrificed not to end that system of entitlement but rather to preserve it. Almost as soon as the supposed reckoning began there were complaints that it had gone too far, that nuances were being neglected and too-harsh punishments meted out.

几年后的情况,看起来更像是他们被牺牲不是为了终结这种权力体系,而是为了维护它。几乎就在所谓的清算开始的时候,就有人抱怨说这场运动太过头,一些并非黑白分明的东西被忽视,给予的惩罚也太过严厉。

This backlash has been folded into a larger discourse about “cancel culture,” which is often less about actions than words. “Cancellation” is now synonymous with any criticism that invokes racial insensitivity, sexual misbehavior or controversial opinions. Creeps are treated as martyrs, and every loudmouth is a free-speech warrior. Famous men with lucrative sinecures on cable news, streaming platforms and legacy print publications can proclaim themselves victims.

这种反弹已经融入了一种更大的关于“取消文化”的讨论,这种文化往往更注重言辞而非行动。现在,“取消”等同于任何对引发种族不敏感、不当性行为或争议性观点的批评。小人被视为殉道者,所有大声喧哗的人都是言论自由战士。在有线新闻、流媒体平台和传统印刷出版机构拥有高薪闲职的名人可以宣称他们自己是受害者。

Which is just what Depp did. And while he accused Heard of doing terrible things to him in the course of their relationship and breakup, the lawsuit wasn’t about those things. It was about words published under her name, none of which were “Johnny Depp.” In a sentence the jury found false and malicious, after describing herself as “representing domestic abuse” Heard wrote that she “felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” This time she surely has.

这正是德普所做的。虽然他指责赫德在他们恋爱和分手的过程中对他做了可怕的事情,但这场诉讼并不是关于这些事情,是关于以她的名字发表的文字,其中没有一句话里写了“约翰尼·德普”。在被陪审团认为是虚假和恶意的一句话中,赫德称自己是“遭受家庭暴力的代表”,并且“感受到了我们的文化对女性发声的全部愤怒”。这一次她肯定感受到了。

Misogyny isn’t the subtext of American political rage and social dysfunction; all too often, it’s the plain text. The links between domestic violence and mass shootings are chilling and well documented, though rarely cited in arguments about policy and prevention. The mobs of social media mobilize against women with special frequency and ferocity, often using the language of righteous grievance. Gamergate, a campaign of harassment directed at women who wrote about video game culture, pretended to be about “ethics in journalism.” The alt-right in the months before the 2016 election and its post-Trump progeny specialize in targeted misogyny. The TikTok hordes that went after Amber Heard over the past few months took a page from that book.

厌女并不是美国政治愤怒和社会功能失调的潜台词;它根本就是内容本身。家庭暴力和大规模枪击事件之间的联系令人不寒而栗,而且证据很充分,但在关于政策和预防的讨论中,这样的联系很少被引用。社交媒体暴民以特别频繁和凶猛的方式发动针对女性的行动,经常使用正义的语言来表达不满。“玩家门”(Gamergate)是一场针对女性视频游戏文化撰稿人的骚扰运动,自诩在讨论“新闻伦理”。2016年大选前几个月的另类右翼,以及他们在后特朗普时代的继承组织专门从事有针对性的厌女行为。过去几个月里对安珀·赫德下手的TikTok用户也借鉴了他们的做法。

Depp’s victory is also theirs. The rage of men whose grievances are inchoate and inexhaustible found expression in a 58-year-old movie star’s humiliation of his 36-year-old former wife. I have to wonder: Are men OK? That’s a sincere question. Does the blend of self-pity, vanity, petulance and bombast that Depp displayed on the stand represent how we want to see ourselves or our sons? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is yes.

德普的胜利也是他们的胜利。男人们的怒火在一个58岁的电影明星对他36岁的前妻的羞辱中得到了表达,这些男人们混乱的怨气仿佛绵绵不绝。我不得不怀疑:男人们还好吗?这是一个真心的疑问。德普在证人席上表现出的自怜、虚荣、任性和夸夸其词,难道代表了我们希望在自己或我们的儿子身上看到的东西?这是一个反问。答案是肯定的。

Not all men, though. Right? Now that the trial is over, we’ll find new things to be ambiguous about, new venues where indeterminacy can serve as an alibi for the same old cruelty, and for its newer iterations. Johnny Depp is being embraced as a hero in some quarters, but his victory extends even to those who will allow themselves to feel troubled by the outcome of the trial and then move on. Some of us may wince a little when we watch “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Donnie Brasco,” but we’ll probably still watch. They’re pretty good movies, and it’s not as if they can be expunged from the collective memory. That hasn’t happened to Louis C.K., or Woody Allen, or Michael Jackson, or Mel Gibson, or even Bill Cosby. Some of them have gone to court, some have faced public censure and disgrace, but they all remain woven into the fabric of the culture, and their behavior is too. We may not entirely forget, but we mostly forgive.

不过,也不是所有男人。对吧?现在,审判结束了,我们会发现一些新东西可以用含糊的态度对待;还会发现一些新的方法,让不确定性可以为熟悉的残忍行为及其新迭代作借口。约翰尼·德普在某些方面被视为英雄,但他的胜利甚至也是那些会对审判结果感到不安,然后忘掉这件事的人的胜利。当我们看《加勒比海盗》或《忠奸人》的时候,有些人可能会觉得有点犹豫,但我们可能还是会看。它们都是相当不错的电影,而且反正也不能把它们从集体记忆中抹去。这样的事也没有发生在路易·C·K、伍迪·艾伦、迈克尔·杰克逊、梅尔·吉布森,甚至比尔·考斯比身上。他们中的一些人上了法庭,一些人面临着公众的谴责和耻辱,但他们仍然是文化织体的一部分,他们的行为也是如此。我们可能不会完全忘记,但我们往往会原谅。

Let’s at least be clear about what that means. It means that we value the comfort and self-regard of men, especially famous ones, more than we value the safety and dignity of women, even famous ones.

让我们至少弄清楚这背后的意义。它意味着我们重视男人的舒适和自尊,尤其是有名的男人;但我们不那么重视女人的安全和尊严,即使是有名的女人。
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