Johnny Depp shades courthouse

The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been dominating the news cycle in recent weeks. As Johnny Depp has sought financial compensation from Amber Heard, alleging that her accusations of domestic abuse were false and ruined his career, audiences have tuned in to watch the court case. The hype around the case led to a number of Twitch streamers choosing to broadcast the trial for their viewers, creating an unexpected Twitch meta in which content creators provide running commentary and hot takes on the proceedings.

The trial has ended up lasting longer than anyone expected, but is set to finally come to a close on May 27 (per Washington Post). In the six weeks since the trial began, several high-profile Twitch streamers have stepped outside of simply reacting and have made their true feelings clear regarding the controversial case — much to the chagrin of some viewers. The rise in "trial reaction" videos on YouTube and Twitch has been a divisive subject, but it’s worth looking back to see how these influencers felt about the biggest celebrity trial of the year.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Hasan Piker thinks the case is more complex than people realize

Hasan Piker at Politicon

Given his primary focus on political commentary, Hasan "HasanAbi" Piker obviously had to share his thoughts on the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial. Though he’s spent some significant time on the topic since the trial kicked off, Piker also recognizes how sensationalized the whole case has become, to the point where he worries that some people have lost focus on more important topics.

As he tweeted May 25, "People straight up care less about a school shooting at an elementary school than the Amber Heard Johnny Depp trial. That’s how desensitized we are to gun violence."

While commenting on the trial directly, Piker opened up about his personal past experience in an abusive relationship and how that painful experience has impacted his views on the topic. After listening to a clip that highlighted a physical fight, Piker shared, "Given my history, I’m gonna have to side with Johnny Depp on this. It sounds a lot like situations that I’ve been in as well. Men can be abused in relationships as well, physically, for the record."

Though he sides more strongly with Depp, Piker also admits his own experiential bias, which he clarified was not rooted in misogyny or the idea that women often lie. He was still able to acknowledge the complexity of the case. In his words, "This was a mutually toxic relationship [between Depp and Heard], and that’s not my take on it, that’s the testimony of their couple’s counselor." According to the Washington Post, he’s commented on the fact that viewers have seemingly picked a clear good guy or bad guy. "Everything is a Marvel story," Piker derisively said. "Life is not like that."

xQc attacks Amber Heard’s integrity

xQc ranting

French-Canadian gamer and streamer Félix "xQc" Lengyel has followed the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial very closely in recent weeks, livestreaming his reactions since the proceedings began. Much of said reactions have involved him mocking Heard’s defense team, including the detail of one of her lawyers apparently stomping his foot in frustration. He has also engaged in debates with fellow streamer Pokimane about the ongoing case.

But one of his more in-depth rants involved him going off about Heard’s team and what he perceived as a lack of integrity on their part. "When you stand for something, when you have beliefs, and when you make commitments to those beliefs, you have to go through with them," xQc said during a May 19 stream. "This is how integrity operates. If you stand for something … and you commit to those convictions … You can’t go back."

While xQc certainly got heated, many have criticized him for hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness, particularly due to his own shady past in the streaming game.

Pokimane has mixed feelings on the trial

Pokimane selfie

It may surprise some fans that Pokimane has hopped on the trial meta bandwagon, especially given her history of speaking out against toxic and misogynistic voices online. In fact, many viewers were upset with the streamer for sharing a meme on Twitter suggesting Heard edited photos of herself to look bruised. As some see it, this type of humor can make light of the serious nature of domestic violence in a way that can be insensitive to survivors and unfair when considering the ongoing trial.

Pokimane has since deleted the post that got her in hot water, and it seems her opinions on the subject have also evolved. During a recent conversation with xQc, she seemed to lean more towards Heard’s side, though there’s still plenty of nuance present in her statements.

When discussing expert witnesses on stream, Pokimane shared, "It was their job to make Amber look like a narcissistic person and like she had all of these personality issues as well, which they also did!" It seems that Pokimane does not appreciate the way Heard was painted by Depp’s expert witness, or at least is skeptical of many of the witnesses’ motivations. It will be interesting to see how her feelings on the matter may continue to change.

Ludwig has been enjoying the show

Ludwig confused face

Of all the streaming personalities that have been reacting to the ongoing legal battle, perhaps nobody has enjoyed it more than Ludwig Ahgren. In a video cheekily referring to the Depp-Heard case as "the trial of the century," Ludwig compiled a series of the trial’s most bizarre events and testimonies.

Ludwig zeroed in on the tape recording in which Heard allegedly denies hitting Depp, then mocks him for claiming to be a victim of abuse. Ludwig called this recording "the smoking gun of the case" and expressed confusion at how hitting could not be considered abuse in this instance.

Ludwig has expressed both amusement and shock at various claims throughout the trial, including controversial allegation that Heard defecated in Depp’s bed while he was out of the home. Ultimately, the streamer has found the trial impossible to look away from. He explained that he feels it’s okay to find the trial entertaining, as it involves "two multi-multi-multi-multi-multi-millionaires with insane fame." As seen in the comments on the video, not every viewer agrees with this take.

Asmongold isn’t standing for abuse from viewers, either

Asmongold beanie

Asmongold, primarily known as a "World of Warcraft" streamer, has clearly been enjoying watching coverage of the trial, as evidenced by the numerous compilations of the streamer laughing hysterically over the proceedings. In fact, Asmongold’s tendency to burst into cackles during various testimonies has begun to irk a section of his fans. As one Redditor put it, "I love Asmon, but I don’t get why so many people are watching him watch it, he laughs EXTREMELY loud over 50% of the good stuff that happens and you literally miss it. It’s unbearable."

Even so, Asmongold has continued to cover the trial in his daily livestreams, clearly enjoying the amount of drama on display. But it’s not all fun and games for Asmongold, as the streamer has also taken time to engage with the evidence presented in the trial and weigh in with his own takes. For instance, he has expressed a belief that Amber Heard and has argued that her team falsified evidence in the trial and has argued that Johnny Depp’s reputation was ruined before the trial even began. And although Asmongold is open about his feelings and has been encouraging viewers to draw their own conclusions, he isn’t allowing them to be too nasty with their comments. During one particular stream, he asked his viewers to remain civil and warned that commenters who insulted anyone’s physical appearance would be banned from the channel.

The attention to detail and to his viewers’ behavior has seemingly paid off. According to Dot Esports, Asmongold’s viewership has outpaced that of Hasan Piker and xQc while trial coverage has continued.