Depp pulls back ...
September 5, 2003 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Depp: Dumb Puppy Comment Wasn't Anti-U.S. "I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it."
posted by Twang (48 comments total)

 
: "What do you think of Bush in general?"

: "Uh, you know, I don't want to get Dixie Chicked"

-- Chris Rock
posted by matteo at 2:29 PM on September 5, 2003


I read this and certainly didn't think he was Anti-American or anything. He was putting a voice to the concerns that many people have.

And I think his dumb puppy analogy was both appropriate and accurate. We are that stupid dog that thinks its in charge of everything everywhere and we've got the teeth to back it up.

The fact that he was compelled into apologizing shows just how warped people's sensibilities are. The right to free speech is meant to allow people to speak their minds but people are having to apologize for it? That's wrong.

Who's wrong here? Big News is wrong, they break quotes out, use them out of context and try to ignite controversy so they can get ratings. I've come to really have absolutely zero respect for self aggrandizing wankers posing as "journalists". You want to soapbox on the world? Write a blog and talk as much trash as you want.

Is there any major news source available that hasn't been tainted by sensationalistic journalism? So how are people supposed to get their news?
posted by fenriq at 2:29 PM on September 5, 2003


If he doesn't like it, that bastard can move to France!!! Oh, right.
posted by cell divide at 2:32 PM on September 5, 2003


The guy is no friggin good! He lives part of the time in France. france, mind you. I gave up Perrier and now drink NY state wine...that is love of country.
posted by Postroad at 2:32 PM on September 5, 2003


Hey, look, it's a nontroversy!
posted by solistrato at 2:34 PM on September 5, 2003


Heard; Depp has a cleaner look & was misquoted.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:35 PM on September 5, 2003


Should be interesting to see how Disney responds to 'free speech'.

Or did they already?

Maybe Americans should only criticize others. Maybe that's what 'free speech' means now. We wouldn't want any self-examination going on. Would we, Mario?


posted by Twang at 2:39 PM on September 5, 2003


Don't worry, Johnny, the FBI's already got a file a foot thick after all your tripped out pinko drug movies.
posted by zekinskia at 2:52 PM on September 5, 2003


We wouldn't want any self-examination going on

I've often wondered about this. Is aversion to introspection an inherent conservative trait? Or is it an inherent radical trait? Or an inherent human trait?

Other than that, tho', this is unfortunately all too predictable. Criticism taken as wholesale rejection; film at eleven.
posted by weston at 2:53 PM on September 5, 2003


"We are that stupid dog that thinks its in charge of everything everywhere and we've got the teeth to back it up."

Woah wait a minute. I think I 'own' that stupid dog. My pet chihuahua thinks he's in charge and bosses me around the house every time he wants to go outside. So in this Depp-induced metaphor, if my bossy pet chihuahua represents America, does that mean I'm France? Or The U.N. *shiver*
posted by ZachsMind at 2:59 PM on September 5, 2003


Weston, anything not in exact agreement with Bush is seen as nearly treasonous. You were against the war in Iraq then you're anti-American. You don't support the Patriot Act? Then you've got something to hide and are probably a terrorist. You don't agree that handing no-bid contracts to the VP's company is okey dokey? Then you must be a communist terrorist pinko.
You didn't preorder the George W. Bush Aviator Action doll, regardless of the basic fact that Shrub never was a pilot and dodged military service as best he could and the doll is an affront to every veteran ever? Then you're woefully unpatriotic and should be deported.

And Matteo, Dixie Chicked should become a regular word in the American lexicon. Dixie Chicked - to be unjustly castigated and boycotted for exercising one's right to have a opinion about the political, economic or cultural death spiral the US is currently in.
posted by fenriq at 3:04 PM on September 5, 2003


fenrig: not to be confused with "chicks with dicks"
posted by Postroad at 3:09 PM on September 5, 2003


now drink NY state wine...that is love of country.

the french wine hegemony is marketing anyways. you should switch to california or aussie wine. [though, i had some very nice NY state wine while in NYC.]

fenriq: right on.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:20 PM on September 5, 2003


not to be confused with "chicks with dicks"

It would be funnier if Chris Rock got chicks-with-dicked.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:20 PM on September 5, 2003


I might point out that ones capacity to be "Dixie Chicked" would never had occurred had it not been for the irresponsible, scandal-hungry media in general. Shrub, Ashcroft and Co. would never have cared had it not been front page news. S, A and Co. are pretty much like I thought they would be. On the other hand, media coverage in the past couple years has been nothing short of shameful. Bah, old story, old rant.
posted by elendil71 at 3:27 PM on September 5, 2003


Forgive me for being obvious here, but...

There is anti-American, as in a statement that is in some way critical of America, and then there is anti-American, as in something that goes against American values.

Judging an individual's patriotism (or beliefs in general) by one set of words is absurd. For example, were I to write "I support Bush's signing of that anti-prison rape law," I would be uttering a pro-Bush statement, but to turn that into an assumption that I am pro-Bush on all issues (or, indeed, to assume I am pro-Bush on any other issue) would be outrageous.

I guess what I am really trying to say is "Bah!"
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:29 PM on September 5, 2003


I think it's pathetic that he's apologizing. He's rich, he has a great life in another country - he's safe. It's his place to speak for people who have a reason to fear speaking out.
posted by stonerose at 3:31 PM on September 5, 2003


it's fun to go to europe and bad mouth america. It is just what one does. Has been the case since Gertrude Stein and even Mark Twain. The euros love it. They make you feel all cosmopolitan and buy you drinks.
posted by pejamo at 4:00 PM on September 5, 2003


the french wine hegemony is marketing anyways. you should switch to california or aussie wine.

What! I mean enjoy the wines that you wish to enjoy, but the quality of French wine in unquestionable. CA makes great over oaked and simple table wines, Australia has Shiraz, but France has many interesting wines and producers. If all you like are big fruity merlots or oaky buttery chardonney, which is all CA can do, then french wines aren't for you. If you want quality, complexity and value, french wine is too wonderful to ignore.

Oh, and about the topic: Depp is 40 years old already! I get the feeling I won't look that good when I'm forty. Hell, I don't look that good now.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:02 PM on September 5, 2003


Depp doesn't owe any explanation at all. His analogy hits the bulls eye dead center. People who disagree don't want to admit he's right. The US should clean it's own house before [wrecking] others'.
posted by yoga at 4:12 PM on September 5, 2003


it's fun to go to europe and bad mouth america. It is just what one does. Has been the case since Gertrude Stein and even Mark Twain. The euros love it. They make you feel all cosmopolitan and buy you drinks.

Wait just a cotton pickin' minute. You mean all this time I've been having interesting give and take political debate about the various weaknesses and strengths of both my land of birth and my choosen residence, I should have been getting further contributions towards damaging my liver gratis?

Shit.
posted by romakimmy at 4:18 PM on September 5, 2003


it's fun to go to europe and bad mouth america. It is just what one does. Has been the case since Gertrude Stein and even Mark Twain.

Isn't what I do pal.

Nor any of the American ex-pats I'm in touch with over here. I've been living in London for almost seven years now. I own a house here. I own a house in Portugal (Lisboa) as well. I wil shortly have dual US/British citizenship.

Have you even been outside of the US? I mean really? More than a Canadian / Mexican / European holiday? From the way you're (authoritatively) talking, I doubt it.

I'm in touch with lots of American ex-pats living here in Europe, and none of us feel the way you do.

Strange, isn't it?
posted by Mutant at 4:26 PM on September 5, 2003


elwoodwiles, i know that, really i do, its just that i live in the same town with the #1 and #2 wine producers in california, so its cheap, and i can afford that. i block out memories of the truly amazing french wines i've had because i can't afford them.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:35 PM on September 5, 2003


Mutant - well, see? You're a real ex-pat (and, apparently, a wealthy one. Two houses in europe, whee doggy! That's jim dandy. Love those Portuguese real estate tax laws, eh guvnor?) not a holiday poser like me. I found a very willing audience to hear me complain about my country's many shortcomings. Yet, despite its many failings, I choose to continue to live (and pay property tax) here. Strange, isn't it?
posted by pejamo at 4:48 PM on September 5, 2003


Fuck yoga, black and white worldview much?

I dunno. I kinda want to give Depp the benefit of the doubt here, because it's entirely possible a more reasonable and cogent criticism of America was taken out of context to troll for the element of the German populace who hold certain views and like seeing those views reinforced by well-known, wealthy, and creative individuals. I mean, why is everyone so certain Depp's apology is disingenuous?
posted by Snyder at 5:06 PM on September 5, 2003


Strange, isn't it?

Not really. Choosing to live where one feels most comfortable (when one has the means) generally isn't, to my mind's eye. Neither is continuing to take an interest in the actions of the government of one's country of birth, continuing to pay income taxes to said country, and voting in the elections of said country.

Just because I or Mutant or Mr. Depp choose to live in another country does not make us any less American. Nor does it negate our opinion, whatever that might be, of the actions of the US government.
posted by romakimmy at 5:10 PM on September 5, 2003


game, set, match: pejamo

When my partner (American) and I (Canuck) lived in Prague for a year - prior to 9/11, mind you - we didn't meet many apologists for the U.S. Whether drifters, Fulbright scholars, tourists, or semi/permanently relocated Americans, it was an overwhelmingly liberal, cosmpolitan, self-reflexive crowd. With Bush in the White House, and with the post-9/11 global follies, these tendencies have been sharpened.
posted by stonerose at 5:13 PM on September 5, 2003


When my partner (American) and I (Canuck) lived in Prague for a year - prior to 9/11, mind you - we didn't meet many apologists for the U.S. Whether drifters, Fulbright scholars, tourists, or semi/permanently relocated Americans, it was an overwhelmingly liberal, cosmpolitan, self-reflexive crowd.

Not that I do a whole lot of expat-socialization, but it's not dissimilar here in Seoul, although there is a strong military-fetishist crowd as well, thanks to the somewhat unique geopolitical circumstances.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:29 PM on September 5, 2003


...because only liberal americans actually want to go to Europe?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:36 PM on September 5, 2003


I'm surprised and a little disappointed that any of you (or the rest of the populace) give a fuck what Johnny Depp has to say about anything, at all, on any subject, at any time. I don't care if he thinks he's the queen of England--he still just another ditzy Hollywood pod-person with very little exposure to the politics of world affairs, I would wager. It's not as though the rich and famous have their hand on the pulse of, well, anything usually, considering they are often holed up in a mansion (bubble) with a battery of security around them.
posted by dhoyt at 5:43 PM on September 5, 2003


Since leaving left England, I think I've actually become slightly more patriotic. Could just be that I miss real bacon though.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:45 PM on September 5, 2003


it was an overwhelmingly liberal, cosmpolitan, self-reflexive crowd.

How nauseating. They needn't have left New York.

although there is a strong military-fetishist crowd as well

I should one would have more than a few reasons to be thankful to those "fetishists", especially those who make their livelihood in a free South Korea thanks to the efforts and lives of thousands of Koreans and Americans, British and others. Were the reverse true, rather than internet, messages might be sent via corked bottles over the sea, while breaking rocks in black pajamas, feasting on tree bark and icicles in the gulag.

Depp shmepp.
posted by hama7 at 6:40 PM on September 5, 2003


I should think...
posted by hama7 at 6:41 PM on September 5, 2003


hama7, maybe there could be a happy medium between the neocon way and the decision to let the North Koreans have their way?

Seemed to work under Clinton...and Bush the Elder....
posted by weston at 6:44 PM on September 5, 2003


Those rich and famous people don't know what they're doing, they should gjust be like plain old rich folk and get what they want by bribing politicians.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:18 PM on September 5, 2003


...he still just another ditzy Hollywood pod-person...

Yes, but he hangs with Hunter.
And Depp has shown incredible good taste in his career, choosing some absolutely incredible roles, many of which were daring and thought-provoking. He's not just another semi-articulate pretty face of a mouthpiece.
posted by Shane at 8:57 PM on September 5, 2003


I don't see Depp taking back his words so much as trying to assert a hitherto unappreciated (or unexpressed) complication in his opinion. I don't see anything wrong with his analogy either. And whether his opinion is complex or simple, isn't really the matter here either, he is free to have it and free to share it with others.

This seems like a big ol' non-issue with me. Unfortunately, since the Dixie Chicks there's a extra intolerance for celebrity opinion, and extra fear of expressing that opinion. There is a big-time commercial interest in not rocking the boat of percieved public opinion. I don't think there's anything to be done about that, but I wouldn't want people to think that just because someone works in a particular feild of endeavor they should just shut up about politics. That used to be commonly thought about people with different skin color, and it was wrong there, it's wrong here.

Of course, that is just my opinion.
posted by wobh at 9:21 PM on September 5, 2003


He's not just another semi-articulate pretty face of a mouthpiece.

(Coulter's) Neither pretty nor articulate if you ask me :P

Prior to Sept 11th I don't remember the opinions of Hollywood celebrities being paid a second thought. Now they're an erudite mouthpiece for Concerned Americans? Please.
posted by dhoyt at 10:47 PM on September 5, 2003


Prior to Sept 11th I don't remember the opinions of Hollywood celebrities being paid a second thought. Now they're an erudite mouthpiece for Concerned Americans? Please.

Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger running for governor of California. Now there's someone neither pretty nor articulate--what a joke an actor be elected governor, let alone President.
posted by y2karl at 11:02 PM on September 5, 2003


what a joke an actor be elected governor, let alone President.

Right, because actors can't ever be educated or intelligent people who just might be good at the job. The only suitable candidates for such lofty positions are lawyers.

I think this blanket idea that "Hollywood celebrities" (like they're a single entity) aren't as entitled to an opinion as everyone else bizarre, and it has the distinct aroma of prejudice to it. Acting is their job, it's not their entire being (in all cases, anyway), and an educated, thoughtful opinion is an educated, thoughtful opinion, regardless of who it comes from. If German magazines are interested in Johnny Depp's opinion, so what? It says nothing about the value of that opinion, it just says something about the popularity of the actor, his fame has nothing to do with his opinion (aside from the fact that we're more likely to hear it). The fact is that people will listen to famous people more than they'll listen to ordinary people like me (not least because Stern isn't returning my calls), and, as far as I'm concerned, the more famous people who have thoughtful and educated opinions, and are willing to discuss them in the media, the better - it just might make someone actually think, who might not have otherwise.
posted by biscotti at 11:29 PM on September 5, 2003


Dhoyt, you make some pretty large leaps of logic in believing that you know what Johnny Depp or anyone else knows about the subject. Anyone can read the papers and watch the news and form their own opinions.

Every one of us, American, either within the borders or without as ex-pats are still more American than anything else, is entitled to speak our minds publicly. I agree with Shane that he's selected roles of incredible diversity and difficulty that enough to allow me to give him the benefit of the doubt.

And it can easily be as argued that just because he is in a position where money is immaterial does not mean that his voice is any less allowable, you've just gotta give it up for the forefathers, don't you? Smart guys, they were.
posted by fenriq at 1:02 AM on September 6, 2003


Prior to Sept 11th I don't remember the opinions of Hollywood celebrities being paid a second thought. Now they're an erudite mouthpiece for Concerned Americans? Please.

I suspect Americans are hearing more about celebrities opposition for two reasons. One, these are celebrity obsessed times. Two, the politicians who are actually meant to represent opposition haven't been doing their job properly.
posted by dodgygeezer at 1:08 AM on September 6, 2003


The Stern interview is online (in German). The comments in question are on page 2. The Babelfish translation is pretty abysmal, but Depp seems to be criticizing the U.S. government more than anything else. He mentioned Chirac being called "an animal" ("ein Tier") by the American government and media (an incident I don't remember), and the whole Freedom Fries debacle, and goes on to call the whole government a bunch of idiots and "nincompoops" ("Volltrottel"), and Bush "the worst liar I've ever seen."

Nothing that hasn't been said here a million times. It's too bad that he's backpedaling from it, but unless Stern completely re-edited what Depp said, he really doesn't like the government and the political climate in the U.S., and said so. And who can blame him, really? I mean, besides Disney.
posted by skoosh at 7:07 AM on September 6, 2003


I mean enjoy the wines that you wish to enjoy, but the quality of French wine is unquestionable

yes, but if you love fine wine and still want to boycott France and feel all warm and patriotic, choose Italian* wines -- (Brunello di Montalcino, Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo, Bricco dell'Uccellone and hundreds of others can kick French ass every day of the week. except for champagne, if you crave champagne -- by the way Veuve Cliquot is much better than other more-heavily-pushed-by-marketing-budgets brands -- you're stuck with the French and always will be, Italian spumante (Berlucchi is not bad, but only with desserts) is way inferior.

* (Prime Minister Berlusconi supported the war and has sent Italian troops to Iraq)


posted by matteo at 7:40 AM on September 6, 2003


"Prior to Sept 11th I don't remember the opinions of Hollywood celebrities being paid a second thought. Now they're an erudite mouthpiece for Concerned Americans? Please."

Please see a doctor about your memory loss problem. An entire cult has arisen dedicated to the hatred of Jane Fonda. Alan Alda isn't far behind in the hated category. Tim Robbins, Mike Farell, Paul Newman, Martin Sheen (this list is too long for me to write here) were all very politically active before 9-11; Most people just weren't paying attention. Its unseemly and disingenious to claim that only one event brought celebrity voices out into the open. Those voices were there before, you were just too apathetic to pay attention.
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2003


"It would be funnier if Chris Rock got chicks-with-dicked."

That was Eddie Murphy, no?
posted by GiantRobot at 10:43 AM on September 6, 2003


...if you love fine wine and still want to boycott France...

[laughs] Are some of us actually still boycotting France? An asinine idea to begin with, to be sure, but hasn't all this handwringing about trying to re-involve the UN in Iraq more-or-less vindicated the French position? Or are we boycotting France for Marechal Petain, Dien Bien Phu, Serge Gainsbourg, Marcel Marceau or some other reason?
posted by psmealey at 1:45 PM on September 6, 2003


For Jerry Lewis, I think
posted by matteo at 4:01 PM on September 6, 2003


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