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)

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jen says:

    If conservatives boycotted all entertainers who said idiotic things against the current policies of this President or the US there wouldn’t be much to watch, read, or listen to. People on both sides need to lighten up a little bit.

  2. Hatcher says:

    I was always a bit puzzled by my mother’s avoidance of any film with Liz Taylor or Richard Burton. She didn’t approve of their personal morals and felt she didn’t need to send her money to them in encouragement. My puzzlement was on the efficacity of her gesture. But I guess on moral stands, she won!

  3. Tracey, England says:

    You Americans aren’t big on freedom of speech are you?
    Do you have ANY idea how the rest of the world sees you? Most of us British are embarrassed that our leader,Tony Blair ever went along with your insane American plans for Iraq. Stop swallowing your media’s propaganda, America, before its too late! You are acquiring new enemies on a daily basis.
    Johnny Depp is intelligent and perceptive, he’s very welcome here in Europe.

  4. James Joyner says:

    You can have him, Tracey.