There was a time when Johnny Depp was only controversial for his eyeliner choices.
The 54-year-old actor blew that era out of the water on Thursday, when he suggested that President Trump should be assassinated. He was at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, Somerset, England, to launch Cinemageddon, a drive-in theater where audience members sit in Cadillacs, when he made the constructive suggestion to the crowd of 1,500.
“I think he needs help,” said Depp. “And there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go.”
“It is just a question – I’m not insinuating anything….When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” (The answer is a dude called John Wilkes Boothe, but that seemed neither here nor there vis-a-vis the point Depp was making.)
The crowd cheered.
“I want to clarify,” he said. “I am not an actor. I lie for a living.
“However, it has been a while and maybe it is time.”
Depp’s remarks have drawn the attention of the Secret Service, the Washington Post reported. A Secret Service spokesman told The Post that the agency is “aware of the comment in question. For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities.
“The joke is no laughing matter,” said presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, pulling back from her mirthful Wednesday tweet that she was “laughing her #ossoff” about a Democratic defeat in the Georgia special election. “These things are real.”
Conway called Depp a “nut job” who was spreading “vile” ideas that could “easily inflame lunatics who wish to bring harm.”
President Trump has been accused of inciting violence in the political realm, beginning with his presidential rallies, in which he encouraged protesters to be locked up and audience members to punch one in the face in return for covering his legal bills.
Time will tell what Depp’s comments will do to his career. Comedian Kathy Griffin recently landed in hot water for posing for a picture with a model of Trump’s decapitated head. It led to her being fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve special and the cancellation of many of her stand-up comedy tour dates.