A Texas recruiter has come under fire for using the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard libel lawsuit to boost interest in his job posting on LinkedIn.
Shawn Barnes, who works as a recruiter at GTN Technical Staffing and Consulting, crafted a fake post-trial “transcript” between the two actors which he posted on the site on Tuesday to advertise a data analyst role.
“BOMBSHELL,” Barnes wrote. “The conversation between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at the end of the trial leaked!”
The recruiter then imagined Heard repeatedly asking Depp to look at her, before she asked, “Do you still love me, Johnny?”
In the fake transcript, Depp replied, “Amber, this may be the last time we speak, so please listen to me very carefully. If you know of a data analyst with experience in Python, SQL, A/B testing and Excel, you absolutely have to call Shawn Barnes with GTN Technical Staffing. He’s the best!”
As of midday on Wednesday, the job posting had received 223,000 likes.
Many LinkedIn users responded to Barnes’ post, praising him for the creative way he sparked interest in the data analyst position.
“One of the most captivating employee search positions I have ever seen!” a tickled reader responded.
“Awesome recruiting strategy,” swooned a second LinkedIn user, while others described Barnes as “brilliant,” “smart” and “hilarious.”
Not everyone found Barnes’ post amusing, however, with some saying it was distasteful to use the lawsuit – in which Heard and Depp brought abuse allegations against each other – as material to attract attention.
“Using a domestic abuse essay for lols. It’s pretty tasteless,” one person chided, while another said, “It’s so disgusting, I don’t even know what to say.
The message was then shared on Twitter, where many others lambasted Barnes, including the one who wrote: “I can’t be the only one who thinks using this lame fake transcript of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard on LinkedIn is really cringeworthy. What are we doing here? Ugh LinkedIn really is a fire dumpster.
The Post has contacted Barnes for comment.
However, Barnes isn’t the only person to use the Depp/Heard court case to drum up interest in a vacancy. According to The Independent, a real estate agent also uploaded a similar fake transcript to advertise a vacancy at his company.
One person claimed to have seen several other imitations of the post, saying, “My LinkedIn feed is full of #recruiters sharing a post using the Johnny Depp lawsuit as a punchline to promote posts. DV [domestic violence] is not a joke or a marketing tool. Your attempt to be clever by using other people’s trauma for profit is embarrassing. This is why your jobs will not be filled.
Depp is riding high after winning the lawsuit against Heard late last month. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages after a jury finds Heard defamed him in an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Heard won a minor victory in his countersuit against Depp, with the jury awarding him $2 million in compensatory damages.
This week, the ‘Aquaman’ actress – who has faced calls for her withdrawal from an upcoming sequel for this film – opened up about the lawsuit during a meeting with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, saying she likes still her ex-husband and has “no ill will” towards him.