Helena Bonham Carter Defends J.K. Rowling, Weighs In on Johnny Depp, Cancel Culture Debate

"She's allowed her opinion, particularly if she's suffered abuse"

Photo: Made In Hollywood

BY Sydney BrasilPublished Nov 28, 2022

Joining the many Harry Potter cast members that have weighed in on J.K. Rowling's history of transphobia, Helena Bonham Carter has voiced her support not only for Rowling but for Johnny Depp as well.

Speaking with UK news outlet The Sunday Times, the actor — who played Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter franchise — shared her disdain for "cancel culture," implying that both Depp and Rowling are victims of it. 

Referring to Depp, she implied that Amber Heard benefitted from the #MeToo movement's "pendulum swinging back" despite Depp winning the defamation lawsuit he made against her. "My view is that [Heard] got on that pendulum," she said. "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."

Bonham Carter then went on to call the public backlash against Rowling "horrendous" and "a load of bollocks," adding that the author has "been hounded" after stating her harmful opinions on trans women multiple times:

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.

Bonham Carter also took the opportunity to speak out against cancel culture as a whole, questioning whether someone's work should be devalued based on the creator's personal life. 

"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," she said. "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."

Bonham Carter joins her Harry Potter co-stars Ralph Fiennes and the late Robbie Coltrane in defending Rowling, while Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne and Rupert Grint have spoken out against her. Of the castmates who have disavowed Rowling, Bonham Carter said, "Personally I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they're very aware of protecting their own fanbase and their generation."

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