For weeks, the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial has captivated viewers around the globe, but Sara Haines doesn't believe it should be airing on television at all.
On Friday morning, the women of The View finally sounded off on the Depp-Heard trial, and while they were careful to avoid taking a side — as so many on the internet have done — they questioned why the courtroom proceedings have become one of the top news stories in the country. Sunny Hostin, who has prosecuted domestic abuse cases, argued that the media frenzy surrounding the Depp-Heard trial is indicative of our "fascination with celebrity" and "voyeuristic urge."
The panel seemed to agree, and guest co-host Dan Abrams backed up her point by noting that "people are literally lining up the night before to be able to sit inside this courtroom." Added Abrams, "The vast majority of people there are Johnny Depp fans. And on the internet — the engagement on the internet of this trial is through the roof. It is almost all hating on Amber Heard. It is almost all supporting Johnny Depp."
"I don't think they're distinguishing that these are real human lives. There's real abuse allegations. There's a lot of toxicity on both sides," said Haines. "They can't quite distinguish the entertainment factor ... People want to watch something that to them in their minds, they're seeing as an entertainment storyline with two actors."
DEPP-HEARD TRIAL #1 STORY FOR AMERICANS? The co-hosts and guest co-host @danabrams weigh in on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial and question what makes it such a high interest for Americans. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/cNqENkvxqk— The View (@TheView) May 20, 2022
After some back and forth, Hostin pointed out that the intense reaction to the trial will ultimately harm survivors. "They're so traumatic for survivors of domestic violence to listen to people gawking at this trial," she said. "What does this do for survivors of domestic violence if they see this kind of voyeurism and people sort of, Team Depp and Team Heard?"
To solve this problem, argued Haines, the judge should have banned the cameras altogether. "I'm not a fan of courtrooms, in these types of cases, being televised," she said. "I know there was a lot of debate after the O.J. trial as to whether that should be part of it. And I think to protect the sanctity of these allegations and what might be going on — what we don't know is going on – I don't think this is something that should air out in public conversation."
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.