UPDATE 2: Depp has apologized for his comments. “I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” he told People. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”
UPDATE: A White House spokesman has issued a statement following 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,” they wrote, according to TMZ. “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.”
Johnny Depp sparked outrage after his bizarre remarks at Thursday’s Glastonbury Arts Festival, during which he pondered the assassination of President Trump. “Can you bring Trump here?” the actor asked the crowd, drawing boos, while introducing a screening of his 2004 film The Libertine. “You misunderstand completely,” he continued, The New York Times reports. “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 awhile and maybe it’s time.”
The actor, an outspoken Trump critic, predicted the obvious backlash to his remarks, adding, “By the way, this is going to be in the press and it’ll be horrible. It’s just a question. I’m not insinuating anything.”
As of Friday morning, “Johnny Depp” became a trending topic on Twitter, where many critics – notably several prominent conservatives – condemned the liberal Depp’s statement.
“No joke about killing @POTUS is acceptable,” wrote GOP Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel. “I’m sick of celebrities getting away with such disgusting comments.” An unofficial account for Tennessee Republicans directed their complaints to the Secret Service, writing, “We have video evidence of Johnny Depp threatening to assassinate President Trump. Please do something!”
Other complaints found Depp’s remark more problematic due to its timing: Last week, a gunman, believed to be enraged by President Trump’s election win, opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team at a practice field, striking four people – including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
In May, comedian Kathy Griffin ignited similar headlines after posing for a photo while holding a model of a bloodied, severed head that resembled President Trump. Four months earlier, Madonna admitted during a speech at the Women’s March on Washington that she’d “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” Both entertainers earned swift and strongly worded criticism from the president.