For a bunch of people who constantly pay lip service to qualities like love, tolerance, and understanding, liberal Hollywood elites sure do spend a lot of time fantasizing over Trump’s death. First Kathy Griffin failed at edgy political commentary by posting a photo of herself holding a replica of Trump’s bloody, dismembered head, and now Johnny Depp apparently thinks it’s funny to joke about assassinating his President.
And yes, that’s right Mr. Depp. Like it or not, he is your President.
To be clear, I don’t think that Johnny Depp actually intends to harm President Trump or that he meant his comment as anything other than an aside intended to entertain his audience. Depp has since apologized for the incident and has described his words as a “bad joke,” but regardless, those on the right are up in arms about the Left’s tendency to use violent rhetoric against their opponents.
Now I won’t go as far as to blame Depp’s statement for acts of political violence like some other conservatives are doing, since it was, after all, just a tasteless joke. However, with Representative Steve Scalise still in the hospital following the shooting in Alexandria last week, the timing of Depp’s comments seem questionable at best. While accusations of encouraging shooters are too much of a stretch in my opinion, I do think Depp’s interview is the latest example of a Hollywood liberal behaving in a way that, if a conservative were to do the same, would be tantamount to a hate crime. The rabid right-wingers who are calling for Depp’s lynching may be overreacting, but it’s undeniable that the blowback Depp has faced is only a fraction of what it would have been had he made the same comment about Barack Obama.
Additionally, I don’t think we can overlook the irony of how Hollywood leftists have a track record of using violent rhetoric and imagery against those with different political beliefs despite their championing of causes like tolerance and love. Figures like Kathy Griffin, Jim Carrey, Snoop Dogg, and Madonna (all great thought leaders of our time) have each alluded to Trump’s death in public forums. Unfortunately, hating Trump seems to have become so mainstream that these celebrities see nothing wrong with glamorizing his demise because he's dared to go against their progressive agenda.
If the left is so keen on inclusion, then why is it acceptable to treat someone on the right like Trump so horribly? Why is it OK to talk about wishing for your president's death (Carrey) or the destruction of the entire White House (Madonna)? To me, it seems like for Hollywood elitists, tolerance and acceptance are reserved for LGBT and POC, but not the GOP.
Now I know some of you will probably tell me that following the political musings or activism of celebrities is pointless, but the truth is that in our vapid, fame-obsessed society, celebrities hold far more sway in our culture than politicians do. It pains me to say it, but what these people say and do does matter, especially to younger generations. While it’s pointless to hyperbolize the severity of comments like Depp’s, we do need to call them out. Those who follow popular culture need to understand that joking about someone's death, even if it is Trumps, doesn't need to be and shouldn't be part of our political discourse.