UPDATE (2:13 p.m. ET): Johnny Depp apologized Friday in a statement provided to People for joking about assassinating President Donald Trump.
“I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” he said. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”
The White House has strongly condemned Johnny Depp’s remarks on Thursday in which the actor joked about assassinating the 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,” deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said 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,” she added.
On Thursday, while introducing the 2004 film “The Libertine” at the Glastonbury arts festival in England, Depp playfully asked, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” The question was in clear reference to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth.
He continued, “I want to clarify: I’m not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it’s been a while, and maybe it’s time.”
The comment is the latest in what has become something of a trend in the entertainment industry. At the Women’s March in January, Madonna said she had “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” At the Public Theater in New York, a recent rendition of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” included the assassination of a Caesar who resembled Trump.
And perhaps most famously, comedian Kathy Griffin participated in a photo shoot in which she held a prop that resembled the bloodied head of Trump.
Concern about violent rhetoric has increased even more since a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, earlier this month, when a gunman injured six people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who were participating in a Congressional baseball practice.
This post has been updated to include Johnny Depp's apology.