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Johnny Depp/Amber Heard Trial Creates A New Twitch Trend

Streamers have been entrenched in the world of reaction videos for a while now, streaming videos and responding to them, even when threatened with bans. Several Twitch streamers were banned after a new live TV meta took off with viewers. It turns out that streaming copyrighted content is not, it turns out, entirely legal. Disguised Toast received one of the strictest TV meta bans, getting suspended temporarily for playing episodes of anime on his stream. In the TV meta, streamers often didn't comment on the content they shared with viewers.

Recently, however, streamers have been watching the defamation trial between actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, commenting on the proceedings and speculating about what the truth of the case might be. While the two have been in court for some time, Depp made the goal of his lawsuit clear: he wants Heard to pay up for allegedly ruining his career. So far, Depp has revealed disturbing recordings from their past and Heard has been accused of using strange tactics to intimidate Depp in court. Needless to say, things are getting messy in the courtroom, and almost everyone watching has an opinion on the case, including streamers. Now, an odd new meta is emerging from the trial, and streamers are making court commentary trend online.

Streamers comment on the trial

Many of the usual suspects – streamers who already base much of their content on reaction videos – have jumped on the trend and streamed their responses to the Depp v. Heard trial. xQc shared clips from the proceedings, pausing frequently to comment on what was happening. The title of one particular xQc video explained that he'd watched the trial so his viewers didn't have to, picking out the most interesting parts to share with the world. The streams also provided a space for xQc fans to discuss the trial, both in his Twitch chat and later on his YouTube upload of the stream.

Adept also chimed in on the case, providing a different take on elements of the trial, frequently making fun of Heard's various controversies that have arisen. Like many other streamers, Adept used the "Just Chatting" category on Twitch, indicating that she intended to discuss the trial with fans in addition to streaming it online. Unlike the TV meta, which typically involves streamers broadcasting content found behind paywalls, the Depp v. Heard trial is available for free online to anyone who wants to view it.

Ludwig and Hasan Piker have also become known for streaming their reactions to various pop cultural moments, and couldn't resist commenting on the Depp v. Heard trial. Ludwig began watching TikToks about the trial before deciding to simply stream it live, commenting on it for his viewers. Piker took a bit of a different approach than other streamers, removing himself even further by initially peeking in on Ludwig's stream of the trial. He quickly transitioned to his own stream of the trial, but others were content to respond to the compilations and edits others produced.

Streamers also reacted to streamers reacting to the trial

The meta got even more meta when streamers began reacting to other streamers reacting to the trial. If that sentence felt confusing, it's because it is, in the abstract way many online trends are. TikTok and YouTube suddenly became hot spots for content creators to upload their thoughts on the case, with some attempting to spot holes in the defense. Milani Cosmetics even weighed in on Heard's alleged use of one of their products to cover bruises, creating yet another viral clip for streamers to dig into.

Asmongold and Pokimane both took a meta approach to the trend, reacting to other react videos. Asmongold chose to only watch the funniest bits, pausing frequently to comment one the proceedings. Asmongold focused mainly on TikToks that showed the humorous side of the trial, specifically showing how strange some of Depp's responses to questions were.

Meanwhile, Pokimane also hilariously reacted to xQc's reaction to the trial. Instead of commenting on what was happening between Depp and Heard, Pokimane commented on xQc's odd stance when he stood up at the commencement of the court proceedings, jokingly saying he looked like Slenderman, the famous creepypasta character. Pokimane also streamed some short videos about the trial, including one from Entertainment Tonight. She said she didn't know anything about the case, but that she knew her fans wanted to see her react to it, which may explain why so many streamers are suddenly invested. Pokimane didn't choose a side in the case, and said she didn't anticipate weighing in on who is right or wrong. It's unclear if streamers will lose interest in this new meta, but fans are ready to join them for the ride.