Surprise 'Bizarre' Guest at VMAs: Johnny Depp

'I needed the work,' he jokes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2022 12:19 AM CDT
Updated Aug 29, 2022 5:21 AM CDT

Almost three months after the conclusion of his defamation trial against Amber Heard, Johnny Depp made a high-profile surprise cameo. At Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards, the actor appeared as MTV's iconic moonman (recently renamed moonperson, per TMZ) in what E! Online called a "bizarre" bit. His face had been digitally inserted into the helmet of a floating moonperson, People reports. "You know what? I needed the work," he joked to the audience. He was back, briefly, when the show returned from commercial. Many on Twitter were not impressed. One sample response to the cameo: "the entire crowd of Amber’s industry peers are cheering for her abuser. it makes me sick."

Rapper Jack Harlow, LL Cool J, and Nicki Minaj co-hosted the awards ceremony; Harlow also performed "First Class" with Fergie, whose song is sampled in the track, which won song of the summer later in the night. Minaj also performed, a medley of hits in her case, and was presented with the Video Vanguard award. She also won the best hip-hop award for "Do We Have a Problem?" In VMAs trivia, the AP reports that Madonna (who was already, with 20 wins, the most awarded artist in MTV history) this year became the only artist who's ever been nominated in each of the five decades the VMAs have been around. Taylor Swift won the night's top prize, and used the moment to announce a new album coming out in October. For a complete list of winners, click here. (More MTV Video Music Awards stories.)

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