Helena Bonham Carter is making it quite clear how she feels about so-called cancel culture, along with sharing her thoughts on such embattled public figures as Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling.
During an interview with The Times that published online Saturday, Bonham Carter criticized the notion that someone’s personal life should impact their career: “Do you ban a genius for their sexual practices? There would be millions of people who if you looked closely enough at their personal life you would disqualify them. You can’t ban people. I hate cancel culture. It has become quite hysterical and there’s a kind of witch hunt and a lack of understanding.”
When asked whether there is a path to redemption for such Hollywood notables, the Oscar-nominated actress said, “I don’t think there is for someone like Kevin Spacey. And Johnny certainly went through it.”
In responding to a follow-up question specifically about Depp, who has co-starred with her in multiple films and is godfather to the two children she shares with former partner Tim Burton, Bonham Carter said she feels the Pirates of the Caribbean star is “completely vindicated” following his high-profile trial involving ex-wife Amber Heard. Bonham Carter added, “I think he’s fine now. Totally fine.”
When asked whether a Virginia jury awarding Depp $15 million in his defamation suit against Heard earlier this year was a sign of the #MeToo pendulum swinging back, Bonham Carter replied, “My view is that she got on that pendulum. That’s the problem with these things — that people will jump on the bandwagon because it’s the trend and to be the poster girl for it.”
During the trial, Depp denied ever striking Heard and accused her of lying about his alcohol and drug use. He and Bonham Carter have worked together in films including Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.
The actress was also impassioned about the blowback that Harry Potter author Rowling has received over comments that have been criticized as transphobic. Bonham Carter played Bellatrix Lestrange in the four most recent Harry Potter films.
“It’s horrendous, a load of bollocks. I think she has been hounded,” Bonham Carter said about Rowling. “It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t all have to agree on everything — that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience.”
When asked about the film franchise’s stars — such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint — who have spoken out about Rowling’s remarks, Bonham Carter said, “Personally I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they’re very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation.”