Johnny Depp courted controversy from both liberals and conservatives this past week when he joked about assassinating President Trump. The actor has since apologized, and though the president himself has not responded, some of the Trump family members have criticized Depp for his joke.
On Thursday at the Glastonbury Arts Festival, Depp asked the crowd, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? It’s been a while, and maybe it’s time." The actor was immediately met with boos and attempted to clarify the joke: “You misunderstand completely. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? I want to clarify: I’m not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it’s been awhile, and maybe it’s time."
After harsh criticism from the public, Depp apologized on Friday. "It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice," he told PEOPLE magazine. "I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone."
Donald Trump Jr., the president's oldest son, has been the most vocal in his anger. "I'd think it would be hard for @Disney to keep him, let's see," he tweeted on Friday, linking to an article about the hashtag #FireDepp going viral. He also tweeted multiple comments referring to Depp's alleged domestic abuse against actress Amber Heard. (Depp's attorneys have denied Heard's claims.)
Lara Trump, the wife of the president's second son, Eric, had a less fervent reaction. “At least he apologized. I guess,” she said in an interview with Sean Hannity.
She further claimed that the American public is "tired" of comments like Depp's and argued that threats of violence against President Trump have become par for the course. "It really does speak to a bigger problem, which is that this sort of thing has been normalized," she told Hannity, and made references to the Shakespeare play — in which the Julius Caesar character, who gets killed, is made to resemble the president — and the recent debacle involving a gory Kathy Griffin photoshoot.
"We see what happened with Shakespeare in the Parkrk, we see Kathy Griffin, we see late-night hosts, Madonna going to blow up the White House. It's out of control and it's really, really sad. And as a family member, as an American, it's incredibly disappointing."
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke on behalf of the president to CNN about Depp, too. “President Trump has condemned violence in all forms, and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” she said.