Sensitive times call for sensitive people, and someone like Marilyn Manson seems distinctly not built for being sensitive. Recently at a tour stop in San Bernardino, Manson enacted a mock shooting, despite the fact that the world as still reeling from a real mass shooting earlier in the day and that the city had suffered their own highly publicized shooting incident. When he was confronted by the outcry, Manson was non-apologetic, instead attempting to brush the performance off as a criticism of American gun culture.
Now, for his new video, Manson again appears tone-deaf to the times he’s living in. Despite a wave of outings for sexual and physical abuse of women in entertainment, Manson has opted to cast his longtime buddy Johnny Depp in his new music video. Depp only last year was the subject in harrowing abuse allegations from now ex-wife Amber Heard, which included photographic evidence and corroborating stories from many. Even though it just happened a year ago, Depp’s incident seemed to miss the current wave of accountability in entertainment, and thus the event hasn’t stuck to him in quite the same way it has to other artists in the last few months.
Regardless, it’s a bad time for Manson to be using Depp for a music video, though it’s not surprising coming from Manson. The video for Heaven Upside Down song “KILL4ME” is particularly NSFW, showing Depp acting as both the pervy voyeur and the willing four-way participant. It’s Depp and Manson’s second video together on this cycle (following “Say10”) and follows a thread of the pair enacting sexual fantasies on camera. It all feels pretty gross considering what we know about Depp, and leaves even the casual Manson fan wishing he’s find any other muse.