Helena Bonham Carter came to the defense of both Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling, even going so far as to say the former was “completely vindicated” after winning his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard earlier this year.
“Do you ban a genius for their sexual practices?” Bonham Carter asked in an interview with The Times U.K. “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.”
The actress, famed for working alongside Johnny Depp with ex-partner Tim Burton on many of his gothic fantasy films, has also worked with a number of filmmakers who have been “canceled” by society, including Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, and Roman Polanski. While Bonham Carter disagrees with cancel culture as a whole, she does think there is no way back for some accused, if not convicted, of assault.
“I don’t think there is for someone like Kevin Spacey,” she clarified, referring to the actor who was accused of sexual assault and misconduct by over a dozen men. Spacey recently won his $40 million civil lawsuit, but criminal sexual assault charges against the actor are still pending in the United Kingdom.
“And Johnny [Depp] certainly went through it,” Bonham Carter said. “There’s something quite old-fashioned about Johnny, with these manners.”
She added that while he lost his 2020 libel trial in the U.K. against the Sun, he had been “vindicated” by the jury’s verdict in June of this year.
“I think he’s fine now. Totally fine,” she shared, and added her thoughts about Amber Heard’s role in the #MeToo movement by saying, “My view is that [Heard] 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.”
The actress was also quick to defend J.K. Rowling, who has been lambasted over recent years for her transphobic comments in interviews and on Twitter especially.
“It’s horrendous, a load of bollocks. I think she has been hounded,” Bonham Carter claimed. “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.”
The actress continued, “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.”
She didn’t go so far as to criticize her fellow Harry Potter actors, particularly the three leads, for speaking out against Rowling’s transphobic views, saying, “I won’t say [they’re ungrateful]. 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.”
“It’s hard. One thing with the fame game is that there’s an etiquette that comes with it; I don’t agree with talking about other famous people,” she concluded.