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Johnny Depp Apologizes for Donald Trump Assassination Joke

Variety logo Variety 6/23/2017 Alex Stedman
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Johnny Depp has issued an apology for a controversial comment about President Donald Trump, asking, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

“It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone,” the actor said in a statement to People on Friday.

Depp’s joke, in reference to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, was made during an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival. “I want to qualify, I am not an actor. I lie for a living,” he added at the U.K. music festival. “However, it has been a while and maybe it is time.”

Shortly after news broke of Depp’s comments, the White House issued a statement strongly condemning the joke and calling on others in Hollywood to speak out.

“President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” the statement read. “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 is only the latest celebrity to find himself in hot water over violent commentary aimed at Trump. Late last month, Kathy Griffin posed for a photo shoot in which she held up a bloody prop head that resembled Trump. The comedian has also apologized, and was dropped from her co-hosting gig at CNN’s New Year’s Eve show.

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