Johnny Depp apologizes for Trump assassination joke
Johnny Depp has apologized for joking about the assassination of President Donald Trump on Thursday night at the Glastonbury Festival in England.
“I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” Depp said in a statement released to PEOPLE. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”
On Thursday, Depp introduced a screening of the 2004 film The Libertine by asking the crowd, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” an apparent reference to John Wilkes Booth, the actor who murdered Abraham Lincoln. After the crowd cheers and boos died down, Depp added, “I want to clarify, I’m not an actor. I lie for a living.”
Before that, Depp previously told the crowd Trump “needs” help and joked “this is going to be in the press and it’ll be horrible. But I like that you’re all a part of it.”
Watch the video below.
Before Depp apologized, his comments were condemned by many on social media and by Trump’s White House. “President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” White House representatives said in a statement (per ABC). “I hope that some of Mr. Depp’s colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a Democrat elected official.”
Depp previously played Trump in a movie for Funny or Die called Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal. The Pirates of the Caribbean star is the latest performer to come under fire for joking about Trump’s death. In May, comedian Kathy Griffin participated in a photo shoot that featured her holding a decapitated head meant to invoke Trump. Griffin later apologized for the picture, saying, “I am just now seeing the reaction of these images. … I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it.”
Earlier this month, conservatives became irate over the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar that featured an actor, Gregg Henry, playing Caesar but dressed to look like President Trump. (Caesar is assassinated in the play.)