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Duolingo Faces Criticism Over 'Insensitive' Amber Heard Joke

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Duolingo Faces Criticism Over 'Insensitive' Amber Heard Joke

Language-learning website Duolingo has caught some heat after its social media team was spotted making a joke about Amber Heard on TikTok.

Depp and Heard are currently in the midst of a blockbuster court battle after Depp filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife to the tune of $50 million following a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post, in which Heard insinuated that she was a victim of domestic and sexual abuse.

Although Depp is not explicitly named in the article, his legal team have claimed that the piece 'falsely and unfairly characterised Mr. Depp as a villain', and sued for defamation.

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Amber Heard on the stand on day 17 of Johnny Depp's defamation trial. Credit: Law and Crime Network
Amber Heard on the stand on day 17 of Johnny Depp's defamation trial. Credit: Law and Crime Network

Heard has subsequently denied Depp's defamation allegations and says in a $100 million counterclaim that he assaulted her before and during their marriage, which ended in divorce in 2016.

Clips from the trial have since been broadcast live and shared endlessly on social media as the ongoing drama has both captivated and polarised audiences; one of which, it appears, is the Duolingo team.

On Tuesday night, 17 May, NBC News uploaded a clip of Heard being cross-referenced at the trial, during which the actress claims she has been the victim of an online hate campaign.

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“You can look either of us up online and figure out who’s being abused,” Heard said during the clip, to which the official Duolingo account commented, “Y’all think amber watches tiktok?” The comment has since been deleted and the person thought to be responsible has apologised.

The remark was swiftly condemned by social media users after it was picked up and reposted by Twitter users.

“On what planet does a brand – even @duolingo – think it’s cool to crack jokes about an alleged victim of domestic violence?” one person tweeted in response.

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“The Depp fandom bubble on TikTok is very real but no brand should get anywhere near it,” they added.

Although Duolingo attempted to rectify their mistake by deleting the post, and soon enough screenshots of the comment were being widely circulated on Twitter as users chimed in to voice their opinion.

“Christ this is vile,” one Twitter user wrote.

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“We’re waiting on a statement explaining why your team thinks domestic violence is a laughing matter!” another person commented, with a third agreeing that “@duolingo sucks for mocking abuse against women”

The person behind the comment has since apologised, The Tab reports. "I made a mistake. It’s deleted and I’m listening. I’m 24 – a yr out of college – managing an account that I didn’t expect to grow how it did & learning social responsibility on a curve. Taking full ownership. It’s an early career lesson for me and I’m learning to be better," they said in a statement.

UNILAD has contacted Duolingo for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News

Tom Sanders
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