Johnny Depp claims he was misquoted by a German newspaper in the whole “America is…like a dumb puppy” flap. Mrs. du Toit wants to believe him, because she likes his movies and would hate to have to boycott them.
I don’t know much about Depp’s personal beliefs, nor do I much care. I’m willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt about his patriotism. I take it almost as a given that he was misquoted, since I don’t think I’ve given a single media interview where I wasn’t misquoted. Hell, I’ve had them change the meaning of editorials I’ve sent in because their idiot proofreaders didn’t understand a word I used and substituted a word with similar letters that they knew. That said, it’s hard to figure what the context would be for “see America as … a broken toy” that they should explore, get the feel of, then “get out.” Perhaps it was indeed a translation issue.
As a general rule, I tend not to get overly upset by these sort of statements from Hollywood actors, anyway. Most of them that speak out seem rather radical and have some ideas I find strange. Unless they go so over the line so that I can’t watch them on screen without thinking of their off-screen antics (think Woody Allen), I don’t really care. I have several movies in my collection from Tim Robbins, for example. Indeed, I’ve got Hunt for Red October, featuring the psychotic Alec Baldwin, on DVD. I don’t plan on throwing it out. (It helps that Baldwin has gotten rather fat of late and doesn’t much resemble his HFRO visage.) Hell, I’d still buy Dixie Chicks CDs if I had ever been inclined to do so in the first place.
Had I been around at the time, I’d probably have boycotted Jane Fonda after her visit to Hanoi. Aside from that example, I can’t think of another entertainer whose politics are so beyond the pale that it much matters.
(Hat tip: Dean Esmay)