If you’re familiar with any John Waters movie, you’ll know the man is afraid of nothing. He can shock and awe like the best of them, but he’s also incredibly outspoken outside the cinemas. He holds nothing back and isn’t afraid to dive into touchy subjects like cancel culture and even his friend, the controversial Johnny Depp.
During a recent interview with The New York Times, the Hairspray and Pink Flamingos director sat down with David Marchese for a piece called ‘John Waters Is Ready to Defend the Worst People in the World.’ Waters was promoting his debut novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance, and gave his usual great insight into the modern world. First on his list is J.K. Rowling and her stance on the trans community. While he isn’t directly a fan of cancel culture, he does list the author as someone he’d add to a cancelled list.
“It’s a good thing we are not going retroactive here because practically every artist would be cancelled. I have a thing about who I would cancel: J.K. Rowling. Give her some Preparation H for that transphobia. What’s the matter with her?” (The Harry Potter writer is often criticized for social-media posts and pieces penned by her that many feel are anti-transgender).
“There are people I would like to cancel, but at the same time, I’m saying it humorously. I’m not going to go through each person who’s been cancelled and say what I think, but I never saw Johnny Depp act negatively to a woman in my entire life — and I did drugs and got drunk with him.” (Depp has faced off with actress and ex-wife Amber Heard for years, as the actress has accused him of violence and vice versa. He’s faced plenty of backlash for this, losing out on a role in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie written by J.K. Rowling)
Waters is a complex man and offers up his usual poignant takes on things. He isn’t going to blindly go with what the Internet wants in terms of cancel culture, but the man isn’t afraid to call out people who he feels are in the wrong. This type of honesty is missing from many modern celebrities, and it’s nice to know that the shock artist that is John Waters won’t change no matter how much the world around him does.
Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance, a novel by John Waters, will release on May 3rd, 2022.