Australians are both warm and erect
April 18, 2016 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have recorded what some describe as a "bizarre" and "awkward" apology for unlawfully bringing dogs into Australia. The Guardian's film critic is not impressed.
Original story with dramatised video re-enactment.

The dogs in question, Pistol and Boo, were brought to Australia aboard Depp's private jet. A falling out with a dismissed staffer is said to have led to Ms Heard accidentally bringing them into the country inside her bag after filling out a form incorrectly. The dogs were flown back on another private flight after Australia's deputy Prime Minister (then Minister for Agriculture) warned that they would be euthanised unless they "buggered off back to the United States."
posted by Joe in Australia (58 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
β€œIt can be the case that members of juries, in intense discussion about freedom or liberty, might need a calming durrie.”

πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΊπŸ’―
posted by zamboni at 2:11 PM on April 18, 2016


They look like they're being forced to recite the apology at gunpoint.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 2:15 PM on April 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


I can only imagine that Barnaby Joyce is standing behind the camera person, pressing the muzzle of a shotgun to the head of a puppy.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:20 PM on April 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


He is accent changed during his bit... So funny. It was basically a fuck you to the Australian court. The judge is right though.. Just because you fly in on a private jet doesn't give you the right to blow off the country's safety laws.
posted by cairnoflore at 2:21 PM on April 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


They look like they're being forced to recite the apology at gunpoint.

We have very strict gun laws in Australia so this is highly doubtful. Getting kicked up the arse by a guy with a giant boot? Quite possible.
posted by Talez at 2:21 PM on April 18, 2016 [27 favorites]


Alright, we're going to apologize, and we're going to do it from the least flattering angle possible.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:23 PM on April 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Australia has no guns so I'm thinking knife point.
posted by clavdivs at 2:23 PM on April 18, 2016


I was really hoping that the "dramatised video re-enactment" was the first of the inevitable spoofs that the actual "apology" will spawn. Who will be the first?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:23 PM on April 18, 2016


So that Simpsons episode was true??
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:24 PM on April 18, 2016


So you had Johnny Depp, on video, being coerced into recording a formal apology, and you didn't make him throw in an apology for The Lone Ranger while you were at it? Holy shit Australia way to drop the ball
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:25 PM on April 18, 2016 [41 favorites]


(refering to Talez' comment)
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:26 PM on April 18, 2016


Australia has no guns so I'm thinking knife point.

That's not a knife.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:27 PM on April 18, 2016 [34 favorites]


A real Australian apology.
posted by clawsoon at 2:31 PM on April 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


First inevitable spoof β€” and it's a good one.
posted by colossal at 2:32 PM on April 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


That's not a knife.

I see you've played knifey-spooney before!
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 2:43 PM on April 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


If anyone is wondering why any of this happened, this picture of Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will answer all your questions.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:15 PM on April 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatevers.

Our doggies are movie star doggies. They are special doggies.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:26 PM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]




this picture of Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will answer all your questions.

Good lord, the man doesn't have any socks on!
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:28 PM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


If they want to do a contemptuous apology to an entire country, well, that's their business, but I do find it a puzzling approach for people whose paycheques depend on their being liked.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:00 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatevers.

Our doggies are movie star doggies. They are special doggies.


Sure, Depp and Heard were in the wrong.

On the other hand, the Agriculture Minister usually doesn't call an emergency press conference to announce every minor breach of biosecurity laws. Barnaby was cringingly desperate to latch, parasite-like, on to the fame and reputations of people that Australians actually like.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:05 PM on April 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Plus, I will never forgive Barnaby Joyce for making me agree with Olympic-level fuckknuckle Kyle Sandilands:
"If we start letting movie stars β€” even though they've been [voted] the Sexiest Man Alive twice β€” to come into our nation, then why don't we just break the laws for everybody?" [Joyce] asked.

"It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."

And in a radio interview, Joyce insisted: "If he doesn't take Boo and Pistol back, we do have to euthanise them."

This was deemed to be in poor taste by shock jock Kyle Sandilands, who confronted the Member for New England on his Kiis FM breakfast show.

"You sound like an absolute clown telling the guy to bugger off back to Hollywood or we'll kill his dogs,"
Sandilands thundered.

"You sound like an idiot.


"You're a government minister, not some idiot off the street mouthing off to a news camera. Have some decency."

Sandilands also branded him a "wanker", a "fool", a "loser", a "ponce", and a "gerbil of a thing".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:14 PM on April 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


You know, I had a lot of respect for Depp early in his career, when he was taking risky roles. Now I think he's a wanker and I think that video apology was done in as dickish a manner as the two of them could muster. Yeah, I guess Depp and Heard are more important than any country's eco-system.
posted by janey47 at 4:36 PM on April 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I heard "warm and direct" not "warm and erect".
posted by frogmanjack at 4:41 PM on April 18, 2016


Given the lethal reputation of just about every plant, animal, and mineral in Australia, the proposed euthanasia would be carried out simply by letting the dogs walk around outside for a minute or two.
posted by dr_dank at 4:45 PM on April 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ironically, dogs and cats are far worse for the Australian environment than the other way round.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:54 PM on April 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


Well to be fair, Depp has never been very convincing without a funny costume or ridiculous manner of speech. And Heard is her usual wooden self.
posted by cazoo at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


cazoo: Well to be fair, Depp has never been very convincing without a funny costume or ridiculous manner of speech. And Heard is her usual wooden self.

He should've imagined how Keith Richards would've apologized. That would've been entertaining.
posted by clawsoon at 5:22 PM on April 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Not to underplay the role household pets have played in preying upon Australian wildlife, but their depredations are a drop in the bucket compared to the impact of Western colonisation. The single biggest factor, dwarfing all others, in pushing native animals to the brink of extinction and beyond is loss of habitat. That's us. That's human beings. Is it therefore okay to let introduced species into the country unchecked and uncontrolled? Of course not. But it's a little ironic that agriculture, which Joyce was minister of, is a far greater threat to 'biosecurity' than a couple of dogs.
posted by um at 5:29 PM on April 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


If they want to do a contemptuous apology to an entire country, well, that's their business, but I do find it a puzzling approach for people whose paycheques depend on their being liked.

I think more Australians would approve of taking the piss at the expense of the Deputy PM than making an earnest apology.
posted by kithrater at 5:39 PM on April 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


Thank goodness they forced these pets to be flown off, burning how knows much jet fuel, rather than just sorting out a declaration form screwup. To do otherwise would demonstrate a lack of seriousness about the environment for the sake of someone's inflated sense of importance.
posted by phearlez at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


You guys are missing the point. Barnaby is the bigmouth idiot in this scenario. If you detect any snark in this apology it's in reaction to Barnaby's boneheaded comments.

Sandilands also branded him a "wanker", a "fool", a "loser", a "ponce", and a "gerbil of a thing".

Man it hurts to agree with Kyle Sandilands. For a few terrifying days last week Barnaby was acting prime-minister.
posted by adept256 at 6:18 PM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Somebody call Sean Penn.
posted by clavdivs at 6:20 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Could it be that they were trying to be low-key, sincere, and serious, and that just comes off as uncharming? I'm not sure how they could have done a video apology like that in a more successful way. I'm imagining them smiling or trying to be "warm" and in my mind it's just worse.

Seriously, I'm not trying to argue, but could folks who found the video annoying/objectionable spell out what was missing? I'm sincerely asking because, well, I guess I don't know anything about this.
posted by amtho at 6:38 PM on April 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


The problem with admitting unquarantined dogs in is disease, particularly rabies. If rabies got into the dingo population it would be a catastrophe.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:38 PM on April 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's the script. A PSA about the importance of quarantine is not a bad idea, but the whole "Australians are just as unique, both warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell your firmly. " just reads like a creepy and pathetic justification from Joyce about why it was totally cool for him to hold a press conference to threaten violence to a famous person's pets.
posted by misfish at 6:44 PM on April 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


So what you're saying is... maybe the dingo got your rabies?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:45 PM on April 18, 2016 [28 favorites]


I heard "warm and direct" not "warm and erect".

Depp was trying to take a new direction with his mouth.

(I miss first season Glee)
posted by Sparx at 7:01 PM on April 18, 2016


Seriously, I'm not trying to argue, but could folks who found the video annoying/objectionable spell out what was missing?

Barnaby Joyce is a waste of skin and organs, an oxygen thief of epic proportions. This is just another event in a long career of idiocy. But, other than that, what misfish said.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:03 PM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sandilands also branded him a "wanker", a "fool", a "loser", a "ponce", and a "gerbil of a thing".

I want this to be an everyday usage of Australians.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:15 PM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


OK, I get it. I thought people were unhappy with Depp's and Heard's contribution/performance; I didn't realize someone else had written the script.
posted by amtho at 7:41 PM on April 18, 2016


The really sad thing is this - because of the fool Barnaby Joyce (an idiotic boor of a man who, most frighteningly, acts as Prime Minister when the current PM is out of the country or on holidays) the very important issue of bio-security here in Australia is being trivialised.

A responsible, sensible MP/Agriculture Minister/acting Prime Minister could have and would have used the opportunity presented by Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's oversight regards their dogs as a chance to emphasise the importance of bio-security and the continued need for vigilant quarantine regulations in a sensible and (shock horror) even educational way.

Instead the idiot Barnaby gets on the TV, the radio and the tabloids, calling people bloody idiots and threatening to put bullets in dogs' heads.

Opportunity lost.

Instantly, it becomes all about Barnaby's loud mouth and grandstanding for a cheap headline at the expense of Depp and Heard - who had, most certainly, made a mistake and broken the rules but who could've actually been treated with some measure of respect and/or maturity.

Australians for the most part respect the strict quarantine rules we have. But this was a really good chance to get the message across to anyone doubting the dangers posed, and do so in a way that actually illustrates and educates them.

Instead we get threats to shoot dogs and laughable YouTube apologies.

Regrettably this is about the current level of political discourse in Australia across a wide range of topics. And while the politicians grandstand, things here are slowly going to the dogs (pun intended).
posted by chris88 at 8:49 PM on April 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


A responsible, sensible MP/Agriculture Minister/acting Prime Minister

We don't have those in Australia.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:58 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't believe how big of a story this has become. If I, an ordinary Australian had bought a dog in on a private plane (yeah, irony) and not declared it, I'd cop the fine, put my dog in quarantine if required, and go about my day.

One dickhead politician grabbed onto it to draw attention to himself and use our tough biosecurity laws as some kind of launch pad into... I dunno what.... being on TV more for a week or so?

Now this "apology" which seems to have made news around the world. I dunno where that came from. I guess it was their lawyers saying "make a public apology to minimise the outrage against you as celebrities". But from what I can tell, there's really been very little outrage against them.... other than that they are rich celebrities with a private jet.
posted by Diag at 10:08 PM on April 18, 2016


And the garbage fire continues:
Mr Joyce said he did not know if the Department of Agriculture helped write the script.

"There was discussions between the parties, not directly through me but through department to department," he said.
Ie, my department made them do it as part of a settlement, and wrote the script.

But, not content to be a grandstanding famewhore, Barnaby is more than happy to serve as volunteer film critic:
"What I can say is although I don't think he'll get an Academy Award for his performance, the fact that he did it … he looked like he was auditioning for the Godfather.

"At the end of it we've got a message that is going all around the world right now, it's going off like a frog in a sock telling people that if you come into this nation and you don't obey our laws, you're in trouble.

...

He also told Channel Seven's Sunrise that he could have done a better job directing the video, saying Depp should "rise to the camera".

"As far as me directing this atrocious movie, no, even I could have done a little better than that," he said.

"Do it again Johnny, do it with gusto mate, a little gusto."
He also implied that the apology was court-ordered, but the reporting is unclear on that point.

Just another day in the clown parade of Australian politics. "Frog in a sock". Honestly. Just STFU, you fucking caricature.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:22 PM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


HTWRT, just look at it as Barnaby's swansong.
posted by kithrater at 10:35 PM on April 18, 2016


HTWRT, just look at it as Barnaby's swansong.

Truly, how glorious it would be. The veil of Parliamentary Privilege lifts, and canines across the land, be they dingos, pedigree shitzus, labradoodles or common mogrels, swarm into Canberra to vanquish their ancient foe. Incensed with blood lust, they tear him limb from limb. A miniature dachshund escapes with a femur, almost as large as himself. From the pack, emerges a Schnauzer, fur sleek, with only a hint of blood on his muzzle, wearing Barnaby's trademark hat at a jaunty angle.

Suddenly, acting as one, the dogs disperse in all directions, leaving only blood and bad memories, as a howl of victory spreads and rises and soars.

And lo, the War On Terrier comes to an end.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:50 PM on April 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


Here's a comforting thought - if the LNP return to Government after the election, the Nationals will probably get greater Cabinet representation (Liberals likely to lose seats and Nationals potentially gain one or two). So even if we lose Barnaby, he'll live on in spirit.
posted by kithrater at 3:02 AM on April 19, 2016


Barnaby is in the right, ultimately.

But, to mis-quote T.a.T.u:
He goes about things the wrong way?
But he is human and needs to be loved
Just like every Deputy PM does.

And, you know, fair play for Depp and Heard actually turning up.
And, man, Australia: we don't let anyone in without permission.
posted by Mezentian at 4:49 AM on April 19, 2016


you didn't make him throw in an apology for The Lone Ranger while you were at it?

Although that movie is straight up racist it wasn't a Lone Ranger movie, it was a remake of Little Big Man.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:04 AM on April 19, 2016


Although that movie is straight up racist

But Depp is one-somethingth Red Indian!
I mean, he's just getting in touch with his Cherokee(?) connections.

You are the one who is racist, I say, for denying him his deep connection to the land!

(It wasn't as bad as they say, but it was not a great film).
posted by Mezentian at 5:51 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


But, to mis-quote T.a.T.u:
He goes about things the wrong way?
But he is human and needs to be loved
Just like every Deputy PM does.


I will put on a foppy white shirt, tease my hair up high, and fight you for this outrage. Sulking all the while.

It's serious.
posted by phearlez at 6:00 AM on April 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


IS your girlfriend in a coma?
Have you tried whacking her with Magnolias?

(A wild Dame Edna appears)
posted by Mezentian at 6:04 AM on April 19, 2016


The Katering Show (previously) would also like to apologise for something.
posted by h00py at 7:17 AM on April 19, 2016


I was hoping for the Katter Show.
posted by Mezentian at 7:35 AM on April 19, 2016


You poor, sick man. And anyway, that one is ongoing .
posted by h00py at 7:49 AM on April 19, 2016


Great, now I'm going to spend the rest of the day imaging the response from Keef. Thanks for ruining my day.
posted by Ber at 8:31 AM on April 19, 2016


I wonder if confusion between "direct" and "erect" was intentional, it feels like a odd speechwriting composition regardless, and I can't distinguish this Depp from many of the chronically confused characters he's played lately.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:06 AM on April 19, 2016


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