White House condemns Johnny Depp for assassination joke

Johnny Depp Assassination Joke: White House Condemns Comment, Calls For Backlash From Hollywood Colleagues

A White House official has issued a statement in response to actor Johnny Depp’s controversial remarks in England when he joked about an actor assassinating President Donald Trump. The White House statement condemned Johnny Depp and anyone who makes threatening remarks about the president, including remarks about assassinating him. The unsigned statement also called on Depp’s colleagues in Hollywood to speak out against him.

Although Trump has not taken to Twitter to comment about or respond to Depp’s statement, a White House spokesperson has responded through a statement released to multiple media outlets.

Katherine Faulders, an ABC News White House reporter, was apparently the first to tweet the White House statement responding to Depp’s remarks.

“President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” the statement said. “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.”

The statement by the White House came after the Secret Service issued a statement, saying that it was “aware” of the comments by Depp.

“We actively monitor open source reporting, including social media networks, and we evaluate potential threats,” the Secret Service said in a statement, according to ABC News. “For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean star came under criticism for making remarks suggesting that an actor should assassinate Trump. Many social media users criticized Depp’s comment, saying that it was in poor taste, coming soon after a gunman, who claimed to be angry with Trump and Republicans, opened fire on Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. The gunman, identified as John T. Hodgkinson, 66, from southern Illinois, fired several shots, injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Depp made his latest controversial statement on Thursday evening at England’s Glastonbury Festival as he was introducing his new film, The Libertine. He suggested during his remarks that Donald Trump “needs help” and that there were “a lot of dark places he could go.”

“I’m not insinuating anything — by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible,” he said, according to the Independent. “But when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

“I want to clarify: I’m not an actor. I lie for a living, however, it’s been a while. Maybe it’s about time.”

When he asked “when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp might have been referring to the assassination of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. John Wilkes Booth was a well-known actor in the 1860s and a member of the well-known Booth theatrical family from Maryland.

Depp is not the first entertainer or celebrity to have courted controversy by suggesting an assassination attempt on Trump. The pop star Madonna came under criticism after she said while addressing a massive rally that took place soon after Trump’s inauguration ceremony that she had thought “an awful lot about blowing up the White house.”

Rapper Snoop Dogg also recently released a music video where he is shown firing a gun at a clown that resembled Trump. Comedian Kathy Griffin also came under criticism last month when she featured in a video in which she was shown holding up an object that looked like the bloodied and severed head of Donald Trump.

She later apologized for her action.

[Featured Image by Ken Ishi/Getty Images]