Australian minister: Johnny Depp dog apology video no award winner


Australian agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce has spoken out about the widely panned videotaped apology from Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard.

The pair made the video as Amber pleaded guilty in an Australian court to falsifying an immigration document when the couple brought their dogs to the country last year.

Barnaby joked on Australian Broadcasting Corp radio: "I don't think he'll get an Academy Award for his performance... 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.

"Going off like a frog in a sock, by the way, is Australian slang for 'going crazy'."

The "war on terrier" debacle has been going crazy since last year, when Barnaby helped catapult the case into global headlines by accusing the couple of smuggling their Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo into Australia while Johnny was filming the fifth movie in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series.

Barnaby, who is now Australia's deputy prime minister, prompted countless parodies by stating: "It's time that Pistol and Boo b******d off back to the United States." He then ominously warned that the dogs would be euthanised if they didn't flee the country within 72 hours - and flee they did, with just hours to spare.

On Monday, Amber pleaded guilty in a Queensland state court to falsifying her incoming passenger card by failing to disclose that she had the pooches with her, but avoided a prison sentence. During the hearing, her lawyer submitted the couple's now infamous taped apology to the court.

In the clip, Johnny and Amber sit stone-faced in front of the camera, delivering stilted lines about the importance of protecting Australia's biodiversity by respecting the country's strict quarantine laws. Bringing pets into Australia involves applying for a permit and quarantine on arrival of at least 10 days to prevent the spread of diseases such as rabies.

Johnny Depp and Amber HEard
The pair looked apologetic in the short video (YouTube/Australian Government)

"Australia is a wonderful island," Amber begins, "with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people."

"Australians are just as unique ---both warm and direct," a grim-looking Johnny later chimes in. "When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly."

The clip quickly began trending on Twitter, with many - including comedian Ricky Gervais - comparing it to a hostage video. Others questioned whether the couple's awkward delivery was a deliberate swipe at the Australian government.

Barnaby sidestepped questions about the origins of the video on Monday, saying he didn't know if the agriculture department had helped with the script. The department later confirmed it had "provided input concerning the offence and biosecurity messaging", but said the video came about after Amber herself offered to publicly apologise for the incident.

The video's production was part of negotiations between her defense team and the prosecution, the department said in a statement.

Still, Barnaby acknowledged the couple was likely less than enthusiastic about the project.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (Shizuo Kambayashi/AP)

"I don't think it would have been something that they would have willingly wanted to do," he told reporters.

During an interview on Channel 7´s Sunrise on Tuesday, he couldn't contain his giggles as he watched the video again and rejected suggestions that he had written the script himself.

"As far as me directing that atrocious movie, no. Even I could have done a little bit better than that," he said with a laugh before mimicking what he would have been like as the director: "Do it again, Johnny, do it with gusto, mate! A bit of gusto, come on. Rise to the camera, old trout! Rise to the camera!"