Flop of the Week: Rihanna’s Judgment

It’s a dark day for the Navy. Rihanna, pop culture’s reigning “unproblematic fave,” has finally done something problematic.

According to reports, the Bad Gal has signed on to Johnny Depp’s image rehabilitation tour, personally inviting the disgraced actor to appear in her upcoming Savage X Fenty show. With the bizarre move, the lingerie extravaganza — once the sexiest event of the year — has devolved into a very un-sexy show of support for a man who ranted about burning and raping Amber Heard’s corpse.

Unsurprisingly, Rihanna is facing backlash from fans who are upset by the star’s decision to platform an abuser. (Lest we forget that 12 of Heard’s 14 abuse allegations were proven to be “substantially true” by the British courts.)

Was there really no one else Rihanna could have chosen for the show’s “star” segment? How did Savage X Fenty, a brand built on inclusivity and empowerment, conclude that a man who described his ex-wife as a “Mushy pointless dangling overused floppy fish market” best embodied its ethos?

At the time of publishing, neither Rihanna, Savage X Fenty, nor Amazon — the show’s exclusive streaming partner — had released a statement on the controversial casting choice. Comments on Rih’s most recent Instagram post, uploaded on November 3, ranged from steadfastly supportive to critical: “Johnny Depp? Really? Smh,” one user wrote.

Depp will be joined by a cast of celebrities including Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, and Rickey Thompson. While it’s too late for anyone to pull out of the pre-recorded show, it remains to be seen whether participants will address the elephant in the room prior to premiere on November 9.

And just like that, the hottest event of the year went from glamorous to grim.

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