On Thursday, Johnny Depp put his foot in it at a film screening in the UK. It started with him making jokes about Donald Trump, who is rather unpopular in Europe. But he took one joke too far, asking “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” referring to John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln.
Depp was wrong to joke about assassination, and he realized it immediately, backtracked, and apologized.
But it was too late for Depp. The White House immediately attacked him, issuing a statement:
President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and its sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. 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 [sic] elected official.
Donald Trump should take this advice and speak out against violent rhetoric when it is directed at Democrats.
Rather than condemning it, Donald Trump has encouraged violence repeatedly, including saying that protesters against him should be “roughed up” and offering to pay legal bills for anyone who did so.
But what is really hypocritical about this statement is that the same day that this statement was released, Trump received Al Baldasaro at the White House. Baldasaro made headlines a year ago when he declared that Hillary Clinton “should be shot” for treason.
But you know what, I almost made a false equivalence here. Because while even Fox News realizes that Depp was making a poor joke, Baldasaro was serious.
Likewise, Trump has also welcomed Ted Nugent to the White House, even though Nugent repeatedly talked about killing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And Nugent was not making a joke.
When will Trump speak out against the violent rhetoric of Baldasaro and Nugent?
Also published on Medium.