If Johnny Depp ever wants to play John Wilkes Booth in a movie, he already has some pretty specific ideas about how he would go about getting into character.
While introducing his movie The Libertine at the Glastonbury Festival in England, the actor told the crowd that he thinks Donald Trump needs help before asking, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Perhaps sensing that he had put his foot firmly in his mouth, Depp backtracked a little. “It is just a question—I’m not insinuating anything,” he said. “By the way, this is going to be in the press. It will be horrible. I like that you are all a part of it.”
But Depp couldn’t help but poke the bear one last time. After giving himself plausible deniability by suggesting that he’s not actually an actor and instead just “lies for a living,” Depp said that it’s been a while since someone in his profession killed a president (152 years, to be exact) and that “maybe it’s time.”
Just as he predicted, Depp now finds himself in some scorching hot water. The secret service said that it’s “aware” of Depp’s statement and is investigating. The White House also released a statement condemning Depp’s comments.
WH official sends this response to Johnny Depp comments –> pic.twitter.com/571ELQqo9t— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) June 23, 2017
Whie it’s never appropriate to joke about assassinating the leader of the free world no matter what your political beliefs are, Depp’s comments come at a particularly contentious time in our country.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is still recovering from a gun shot wound he suffered at the practice for a congressional baseball game. The ridiculous controversy over the Public Theater’s production of Julius Caesar in New York that features the mock assassination of a Trumpian figure has yet to subside. And the backlash over Kathy Griffin’s depiction of Trump’s bloody decapitation is still fresh in the public psyche.
There are a lot of ways to go about opposing Trump and his administration’s toxic policies. Joking about murdering him definitely isn’t one of them.