During an appearance Thursday at the annual Glastonbury music and arts festival in Southern England, Johnny Depp had some harsh words for Donald Trump — and along with them a historical joke even he realized might end up backfiring on him:
“When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
Depp’s joke is of course a reference to John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln who was an actor, from a famous family of actors.
The actor made the comments while introducing “The Libertine,” his 2004 film directed by Laurence Dunmore, as part of the festival’s film component.
“I think [Donald] Trump needs help,” Depp said. “There are 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 — but when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
This elicited loud cheers from the crowd, to which Depp said, “Don’t worry, I’m not an actor, I lie for a living.”
Watch Depp’s Glastonbury remarks above.
This isn’t the first time Depp has stepped in it, rhetorically speaking, with regard to politics. In 2003 as the Iraq war was going from bad to worse, Depp said on Howard Stern that “America is dumb, it’s like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive.” He also slammed the Bush administration, saying “I was ecstatic they re-named ‘French Fries’ as ‘Freedom Fries.’ Grown men and women in positions of power in the U.S. government showing themselves as idiots.”
Depp later issued an apology affirming his love for the United States, though he didn’t take back his criticisms. No word yet on what the fallout will be from his comments today. Recently such statements have been met with significant fallout. Kathy Griffin lost her New Year’s Eve gig with CNN, and several comedy shows were cancelled, after doing a photo and video shoot of her holding a severed, bloody head resembling President Trump’s.
Even the current Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar sparked outrage, thanks to a depiction of Caesar resembling Trump that detractors insisted was a veiled threat against the president. This outcry came despite the fact that the play isn’t in favor of the assassination of Caesar, and is in contrast to an Obama-themed performance in 2012 that generated no outrage.