Dakota Johnson Makes Shocking Joke About Armie Hammer Cannibalism Texts
The audience had mixed reactions to her speech at the Sundance Film Festival.
In early 2021, a major Hollywood scandal broke when actor Armie Hammer was accused of sending a slew of graphic and disturbing messages to women. The unverified texts allegedly sent by Hammer included those that read, "I am 100% cannibal," and "I want to eat you," Variety reported. The actor has denied all allegations against him—including subsequent claims of sexual assault and abuse—publicly stating that his interactions were consensual. And while an investigation was launched, no charges have ever been formally brought against him. Still, Hammer's career took a nosedive in the aftermath, and little has been heard from him since. But in a speech at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, fellow actor Dakota Johnson addressed the issue with a shocking joke. Read on to find out what Johnson had to say, and how the audience responded.
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Dakota Johnson was one of the first to speak at the festival, honoring Luca Guadagnino.
On the first night of the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19, Johnson gave a speech to honor director Luca Guadagnino with the International Icon award. Johnson commended her friend and collaborator for his work on the 2017 film Call Me by Your Name, which premiered at Sundance and starred Hammer opposite Timothée Chalamet.
The Oscar-winning film is a coming-of-age story that focuses on a romance between Elio (Chalamet) and his father's doctoral student, Oliver (Hammer), over the course of a summer in Italy. The acclaimed movie features a memorable scene in which Elio performs a sexual act on a peach, which Oliver finds. And that same peach found itself at the center of Johnson's risqué joke, BuzzFeed News reported.
The audience did not seem to approve of Johnson's joke.
After sharing her excitement at being "back in a room together" for the festival, Johnson joked that Guadagnino tried to cast her as the peach in Call Me by Your Name. "It was unfortunate. Luca had asked me to play the role of the peach, but our schedules conflicted," she said. "Thank god, though, because then I would've been another woman that Armie Hammer tried to eat."
The jest didn't go over as well, met with a mix of laughter, cheers, groans, and silence from audience members, per a video posted by Variety on Twitter.
However, Johnson carried on. "It's been five years since that film premiered here, and Luca hasn't stopped taking us to exciting places," she said. "Who knew that cannibalism was so popular?"
The comment is in reference to Guadagnino's 2022 film Bones and All, a love story about two cannibals, starring Chalamet opposite Taylor Russell. The director refuted claims that the film took inspiration from the controversy surrounding Hammer, noting that it's based on a book of the same name published in 2015.
"Any correlation with this kind of innuendo and silliness is preposterous," he said at the 2022 Zurich Film Festival, Variety reported.
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Johnson previously defended Hammer.
Johnson and Hammer have history together, working on both The Social Network (2010) and Wounds (2019). She previously faced backlash after commenting on Hammer's situation in 2021. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson discussed cancel culture, the #MeToo movement, and allegations against some of her former co-stars, including Hammer, Johnny Depp, and Shia LaBeouf.
"I never experienced that firsthand from any of these people," she told the outlet. "I had an incredible time working with them; I feel sad for the loss of great artists. I feel sad for people needing help and perhaps not getting it in time. I feel sad for anyone who was harmed or hurt. It's just really sad."
Johnson went on to say that she believes people can "change and evolve," helping themselves and others, and that there needs to be some sort of compromise in the film industry.
"I think there's definitely a major overcorrection happening. But I do believe that there's a way for the pendulum to find the middle," she said. "The way that studios have been run up until now, and still now, is behind. It is such an antiquated mindset of what movies should be made, who should be in them, how much people should get paid, what equality and diversity look like."
She concluded by saying that "old school" ways sometimes need to be cleared to make room for "the new school," but noted she's not a fan of cancel culture. "I hate that term," Johnson said.
Responses to Johnson's latest joke are mixed on social media.
Footage of Johnson's speech has since circulated on Twitter, with many saying they didn't find Johnson's joke all that funny.
"Nasty and crass but I shouldn't be surprised, she's advocated for him and other abusers to get their jobs back because they're 'so talented,'" one tweet reads. Another user wrote, "#DakotaJohnson I admit I'm disappointed."
Others, however, said they did get a laugh. "I cackled," one Twitter user wrote, while another joked that "She ATE!" using slang that means someone has done a good job.