WH Challenges Hollywood To Condemn Depp’s Assassination Comments

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The White House on Friday called on actor Johnny Depp’s colleagues in Hollywood to condemn his comment that “maybe it’s time” someone assassinated President Donald Trump.

“President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” an unnamed White House official told Variety in a statement Friday. “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.”

During a speech Thursday night at the Glastonbury Festival, as the BBC first reported, Depp asked “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

“Now, I want to clarify, I’m not an actor. I lie for a living,” he said. “However, It’s been a while, and maybe it’s time.”

Depp joined a roiling debate over the relationship between depictions of violence and viable threats made against political figures. Actress and comedian Kathy Griffin faced an uproar over a photoshoot showing her holding a mock bloodied head made to look like Trump’s. She later apologized. And conservative provocateurs twice interrupted the Public Theater’s productions of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” blaming it for promoting violence against Republicans due to its portrayal of Caesar as Trump-like character.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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