John Lydon slams Sex Pistols biopic Pistol as “middle class fantasy”

8 April 2022, 13:29 | Updated: 8 April 2022, 13:30

John Lydon on The Masked Singer with Pistol inset
John Lydon on The Masked Singer with Pistol inset. Picture: 1. FX/Disney+ 2. FOX via Getty Images

By Jenny Mensah

The former Sex Pistols frontman, known as Johnny Rotten, has reacted to the trailer for the upcoming Danny Boyle-directed series.

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John Lydon has criticised the forthcoming Sex Pistols biopic series, calling it a "middle class fantasy".

The former Sex Pistols frontman, who went by the name Johnny Rotten, has slammed a recent trailer for the upcoming limited series and condemned it as "a fairytale".

A statement on his official website, johnlydon.com reads: "We were originally led to believe “Pistol” was a Steve Jones story, not a Sex Pistols story. Going by the trailer it doesn’t seem to be the case. John’s “likeness” is clearly being used to sell this series, a series he was not involved in, and was put together behind his back. Putting words in John’s mouth and rewriting history. A middle class fantasy.

"Disney have stolen the past and created a fairytale, which bears little resemblance to the truth."

It adds: "It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic."

Watch the official teaser for Pistol here:

READ MORE: PISTOL - Release date, trailer, photos, cast and how to watch

The limited series - which tells story of the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and is based on his memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol- is set for release on 31st May on Disney +.

It stars Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Anson Boon as John Lydon, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Christian Lees as Glen Matlock, , Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde, Talulah Riley as Vivienne Westwood, Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan, Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren.

A press release on the series explains: "Pistol is a six-episode limited series about a rock and roll revolution. The furious, raging storm at the centre of this revolution are the Sex Pistols - and at the centre of this series is Sex Pistols’ founding member and guitarist, Steve Jones. Jones’ hilarious, emotional and at times heart-breaking journey guides us through a kaleidoscopic telling of three of the most epic, chaotic and mucus-spattered years in the history of music.

Based on Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, this is the story of a band of spotty, noisy, working-class kids with “no future,” who shook the boring, corrupt Establishment to its core, threatened to bring down the government and changed music and culture forever."

READ MORE: John Lydon labels Sex Pistols bandmates "greedy, selfish, nasty f***s"

Lydon previously hit out at the Danny Boyle-directed FX series, dubbing it the most "disrespectful s***" he has ever seen.

However, last year, punk figure Jordan Mooney previously shared her view that the punk rocker was snubbed from being a part of the biopic because he is "too difficult".

In an interview with The Sun, the punk rock icon and Vivienne Westwood muse said: "He would just be a saboteur and he wouldn't bring much to the table. John argues for the sake of arguing. He's a difficult person and I can't say that part of him has changed at all."

Mooney, who originally worked at Malcolm McLaren and Westwood's clothes shop SEX and went on to appear at various Sex Pistols performances added: "As he's got older, he's only got more difficult – he's contrary... John has got a few issues about his importance in the world so him not being involved is the best thing that can happen."

Mooney - who's real name was Pamela Rooke, sadly died this month, aged 66 after losing a short battle with cancer.

Pistol premieres on Tuesday 31st May 2022 on Hulu and Disney+.

READ MORE: John Lydon allegedly snubbed from Sex Pistols series because he's too "difficult," says Jordan Mooney