John Lydon slams ex-bandmates over Sex Pistols TV drama: "None of these f**ks would have a career but for me"

John Lydon
(Image credit: Michael Tullberg/FilmMagic)

John Lydon has once again hit out at his former bandmates over the forthcoming Danny Boyle-directed Sex Pistols biopic series.

Pistol, which is scheduled to debut on Hulu and Disney+ on May 31, is centred around guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from A Sex Pistol. The six-episode series is created and written by Craig Pearce.

The ill-feeling derives from Lydon's belief that he was excluded from the production process of the series by Jones and drummer Paul Cook.

In conversation with The Sun, the punk icon says, "Cutting me out is a shockingly stupid move. It’s so ridiculous. It’s so preposterous.

“They can all fuck off. I supported them for years and years and years, knowing they were dead wood.”

Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, adds, “None of these fucks would have a career but for me. They did nothing before, they’ve done nothing since.”

Earlier this month, Lydon dubbed the forthcoming series a “middle class fantasy” that “bears little resemblance to the truth” after claiming in 2021 that it was given the go-ahead without his permission. 

In a statement on Lydon’s website, it declares that his team were “led to believe” that the series would solely focus on Steve Jones and would not be “a Sex Pistols story". However, after viewing the trailer, they said that 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" the statement reads.

“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 would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.”

According to an official synopsis, Pistol follows the "rock and roll revolution” that was spearheaded by the notorious punk band. It reads: “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.

“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.”

Watch the newly released trailer below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.