Johnny Depp apologizes for Trump assassination joke

White House immediately releases condemning statement

Actor Johnny Depp has been forced to apologize after making a tasteless joke about killing U.S. President Donald Trump. On Thursday night, while promoting his latest film The Libertine at the Glastonbury Festival in England, Depp said, “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.” It’s unclear if he was referencing the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by theater actor John Wilkes Booth in 1865. In any case, the White House released a statement on behalf of President Trump saying, “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.”

It seems that Depp was already aware of backlash when he was making the joke, as he said within minutes of telling the joke: “This is going to be in the press, and it will be horrible.” Depp later expressed his regret to People magazine via his representative: “I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump. It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.” Depp has a history of using Trump as a punchline, playing the President in a Funny or Die hour-long parody.

This is the latest high-profile celebrity to express their disdain for Trump with an attempt at humor. For example, comedian Kathy Griffin underwent national criticism for posting a video in which she held a decapitated likeness of the President’s head. She had to apologize and was investigated by the Secret Service. As to Depp’s situation, the Secret Service declined to comment on whether or not he will be investigated.

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