National Crime Prevention Council Removes Amber Heard Meme & Apologises for Any Offence Caused

With the high-profile Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawsuit drawing to a close, there’s no doubt that people all across the world have been tuning in to various segments of the court case.

And one viral moment that most people would probably know is the “my dog stepped on a bee moment” from Heard.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the drama court proceedings thus far, the defamation lawsuit between Depp and Heard began after Depp sued Heard for an article she wrote in 2018 which suggested that she was a victim of domestic violence.

Since then, Heard has counter-sued Depp for US$100 million, and the duo have been at trial since.

As of now, both parties have given their testimonials but the verdict is not out yet. The jury will be meeting in the days to come to determine the verdict.

And though the entire lawsuit has produced several infamous moments that have gone viral, the most recent viral moment occurred when Heard, 36, gave a testimony about how Depp, 58, carried out a “cavity search” on her.

(And no, he’s not a dentist lah.)

Depp allegedly sexually assaulted his ex-wife with his fingers after saying that she hid his drugs.

When giving her testimony about what happened after the incident Heard winced while recalling how her dog stepped on a bee, which led to a visit to the veterinarian.

Since then, the screenshot of Heard wincing has spread like wildfire all across social media, with many have taken the opportunity to create meme images of Heard.

And it seems like it’s been the same in Singapore, with local meme sites like SGAG also making use of the opportunity to post some related memes of their own.

With it being a trend, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) in Singapore also decided to join in the fun and post their own version of the meme.

However, it seems like their version of the meme may have ended up rubbing Singaporeans the wrong way.

NCPC’s Meme

Along with Heard’s wincing expression, NCPC captioned the meme with the lines “Your account is locked due to suspicious activity” and “You’ll help me pay if you love me”.

After the meme was posted on NCPC’s social media sites, it ended up garnering much backlash for its insensitive nature, especially in the case of domestic violence.

The NPNC proceeded to take down the post and issued a statement on Tuesday (31 May) night.

“We had used the photo as we thought the expression captured how members of the public might react when they spot the various signs of scams. It was not our intention to demean or insult anyone. We apologise for the post and any offence caused, and will do better in our efforts to outreach to Singaporeans about scams,” the statement wrote.

Opinions from Related Communities

After the meme was circulated across social media platforms, various groups such as gender advocacy group AWARE stepped up to point out why the meme could be seen as hurtful towards specific groups of people, especially victims of domestic abuse.

When speaking to The Straits Times, senior communications manager of AWARE Kelly Leow explained that with the amount of social media coverage of the Depp-Heard case, victims of domestic violence may be reminded of their past trauma while surfing the Internet.

With acts of violence being described in great detail and the untasteful jokes surrounding the situation being cracked, the entire situation is bound to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.

The media’s portrayal of the trial may also shape the entire situation into a polarising one, where it becomes a clear-cut, black-and-white narrative.

Rachel Lim, a 29-year-old former victim of intimate partner abuse also echoed similar sentiments, touching on how much of the related content that has surfaced on social media is in “very bad taste”.

She also highlighted that even though everyone has the right to have their own opinions, individuals should also think about what they are trying to achieve when they create or share a meme related to such incidents and ask themselves if they are doing so to spread negative opinions about someone.

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Domestic Violence in Singapore

From 18 January to the end of December last year, Singapore’s National Anti-Violence Helpline received 8,400 calls for help.

197 out of the 856 cases that AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre were linked to intimate partner perpetrators.

Principal psychologist at The Therapy Room Dr Geraldine Tan, who has cared for patients struggling with trauma caused by physical and sexual abuse, told The Straits Times that no matter which side one supports, making jokes regarding domestic abuse is detrimental.

This is especially so for victims, as the “humour” may result in them feeling dismissed, belittled or unheard.

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Featured Image: Facebook (National Crime Prevention Council Singapore)