Helena Bonham Carter is against “cancel culture” and the effects it’s had on those close to her.
The “Ocean’s 8” actress, 56, defended her former collaborators Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling in an interview published by U.K. outlet The Times on Saturday.
“I hate cancel culture. It has become quite hysterical and there’s a kind of witch-hunt and a lack of understanding,” Carter said.
Earlier this year, Depp faced his ex-wife Amber Heard in court during a highly contentious trial in which he accused Heard of defaming him in a December 2018 op-ed. In June, a Virginia jury awarded him more than $10 million in damages. Heard also partially won her countersuit with the jury awarding her $2 million in damages.
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The trial resurfaced Heard’s allegations of abuse by Depp during intense testimony, which was streamed live daily. Depp said he never abused Heard and claimed she abused him.
Carter, who starred opposite Depp in seven films, told The Times she believes her former co-star is “completely vindicated” after the Virginia trial. Depp is also the godfather of Carter’s children Billy Ray, 18, and Nell, 14, shared with ex Tim Burton.
When asked if the libel case was the “pendulum of #MeToo swinging back,” Carter said she believes “(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.”
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As for the backlash surrounding Rowling’s transphobic comments, Carter, who starred as Bellatrix Lestrange in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, said the criticism “wouldn’t be so great” if the author wasn’t “the most phenomenal success.”
“I think there’s a lot of envy unfortunately and the need to tear people down that motors a lot of this canceling,” the actress added. “It’s horrendous, a load of bollocks. I think she has been hounded. It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people.”
Further defending the “Harry Potter” author, Carter said, “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.”
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Rowling continues to be a source of controversy after making headlines in 2020 with multiple posts online voicing opinions on the transgender community that conflated sex with gender and defended ideas suggesting that changing one’s biological sex threatens her own gender identity. She has doubled down even after the posts were widely perceived as transphobic, misinformative and hurtful.
Following her remarks, Rowling was noticeably absent from HBO Max’s 2022 special “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.” Though she does not make a new appearance, the special included archival footage of Rowling from 2019 and featured new clips of the cast celebrating her books’ legacy and sharing how directions from the author influenced their performances.
“Harry Potter” stars Danielle Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne, who worked with Rowling in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, are among stars who have publicly condemned the author’s comments and voiced support for trans and nonbinary communities.
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Contributing: Rasha Ali, Hannah Yasharoff
Story Credit: usatoday.com