Helena Bonham Carter has expressed her opinion on “cancelling culture.”
In an interview with the Times published on Saturday, the actor defended two of her longtime collaborators: Johnny Depp and JK Rowling.
Depp and Bonham Carter have worked together on numerous occasions, most notably in movies like Corpse bride, Sweeney Todd: The demon barber of Fleet Street, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark shadows.
In addition to their professional ties, the actors are known to have a close personal bond. Depp serves as godfather to her children, Nell and Billy, whom she shares with her former partner, Tim Burton.
When Bonham Carter was asked a direct question about Depp, she said she thinks he has been “fully vindicated” following his high-profile defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
On June 2, after a six-week trial, a jury ruled that Depp won the case, which revolved around an op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post in 2018 about her experience as “a public figure representing domestic violence” .
While Depp was not named in the op-ed, his lawyers argued that she labeled him an abuser by indirectly referring to allegations she made against him during their 2016 divorce.
At trial, Depp denied ever being violent towards Heard or any other woman, calling her claims “insane” and “appalling”.
Prior to that, in November 2020, he lost a libel lawsuit against a British newspaper over an article calling him a ‘wife beater’, with a High Court judge ruling that the paper’s allegations were ‘substantially true’.
Bonham Carter said of Depp today: “I think he is doing well now. Entirely right.”
In a follow-up question, she was asked if she thought the outcome of the trial indicated that the #MeToo pendulum was swinging back. Bonham Carter replied, “My opinion is that [Heard] stepped on that pendulum.
“That’s the problem with these things — that people are jumping on the bandwagon because it’s the trend and to be the billboard for it,” she added.
Later in the interview, she spoke about the controversy surrounding it Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. For context, Bonham Carter played Bellatrix Lestrange in the final four installments of the film franchise.
As of 2020, Rowling has faced criticism for comments, widely seen as anti-trans. The author has denied these claims.
Bonham Carter expressed her opinion on the comment, saying she thought Rowling had been unfairly “hounded” by the public.
“It’s terrible, a lot of nonsense,” she said. “It has been pushed to the limit, the judgment of people. She is allowed to speak her mind, especially if she has been abused.”
“Everyone carries their own trauma history and forms their opinions from that trauma, and you have to respect where people come from and their pain,” she added. “You don’t have to all agree on everything – that would be insane and boring. She doesn’t mean it aggressively, she just says something from her own experience.”
Respond to a question about the stars of the Harry Potter films — such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint — that have publicly condemned Rowling’s comments, Bonham Carter said, “They should let her have her say.”
“I think they are very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation,” she added.
Bonham Carter more generally discussed the concept of “cancelling culture” and was skeptical of the idea that one’s personal life should affect their career.
“Do you ban a genius because of their sexual practices? There would be millions of people who, if you looked closely enough at their personal lives, would disqualify them. You can’t ban people,” she said.
“I hate the cancellation culture. It has become quite hysterical and there is a kind of witch hunt and misunderstanding,” she continued.
She did say there are exceptions and said “someone like Kevin Spacey” shouldn’t be given a chance at redemption.
In October, Spacey won a civil lawsuit brought against him by Anthony Rapp, who accused the actor of sexually assaulting him when he was 14. Spacey also faces a raft of sexual assault charges in the UK, with a trial set to begin in June. 2023.