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Johnny Depp Asks Glastonbury: ‘When Was the Last Time an Actor Assassinated a President?’

Variety logo Variety 6/23/2017 Stewart Clarke
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UPDATED: The White House has responded to Johnny Depp’s assassination comments. In a statement it criticized the star, and called upon others in Hollywood to condemn his words.

“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 sparked controversy while introducing his movie “The Libertine” at the Glastonbury festival when he spoke about about assassinating a president.

Depp is at the U.K. music festival as part of its Cineramageddon event. Presenting the first of the three movies he has selected, he asked festival goers: “Can you bring Trump here?” Responding to subsequent jeers, he said: “You misunderstand completely. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

Depp then added: “I want to qualify, I am not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it has been a while and maybe it is time.”

The BBC first reported the news, and noted that he went on to further qualify his comment, which some read as a reference to the 1865 shooting of Abraham Lincoln by actor John Wilkes Booth.

“By the way, this is going to be in the press and it’ll be horrible,” Depp said. “It’s just a question, I’m not insinuating anything.”

Depp arrived at Glastonbury in a vintage Cadillac and received a rock star welcome. He introduced three of his favorite movies: “The Libertine,” “Withnail & I,” and “Dead Man,” and answered questions from the crowd. Filmmaker Julien Temple is curating Cineramageddon.

The star’s assassination comments come soon after House of Representatives majority whip Steve Scalise was shot by a gunman who opened fire on a Republican baseball practice session, and weeks after Kathy Griffin came under fire for posing with a decapitated, bloody, fake head resembling Donald Trump for a photo shoot.

Glastonbury runs until June 26 and opened with a minute’s silence for the victims of the terrorist attack on Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert, and those affected by a subsequent attack, and a tragic apartment block fire in London.

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