Johnny Rotten branded ‘a sexist pig’ after Australian TV bust-up
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 10 April 2013
John Lydon is no stranger to shocking television appearances, but the former Sex Pistol provoked fury today by ordering a female host to “shut up when a man is talking”.
The 57-year-old was branded a “sexist, misogynist pig” after his appearance on the Australian talk show The Project on Channel Ten.
Lydon, who is touring the country with his band Public Image Limited, launched a verbal attack at the female anchor, Carrie Bickmore, when she cut in with a question about the death of Baroness Thatcher, before turning his ire on the rest of the panel.
After a benign start in which the punk rocker insisted “I don’t seek trouble”, he turned the audience against him with a series of sexist comments. He called Ms Bickmore “eh missus” and aggressively told her to “shut up”, claiming she had interrupted him. “When a man is talking, do not interrupt,” he said.
The awkward laughter gave way to stunned silence as she protested and Lydon, 57, went on: “Stop it. You sound like one of them dreadful loud birds I don’t like.”
After Lydon was accused of being offensive, he told Bickmore: “So are you when you do that. You have to learn what manners and respect is.”
Adopting a patronising tone, Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, said she was not allowed to ask a question because “your voice is too loud”. He also threw a mock Nazi salute.
After the interview finished, Bickmore described Lydon as “damn rude”. Another presenter, Andrew Rochford, added: “He was a flat-out sexist, misogynist pig.” The singer’s comments attracted condemnation in Australia yesterday, but Lydon hit back, saying: “It’s quite clear to me I’m not a sexist and I’m not a misogynist.” He said that if someone interrupts “you are going to have to say something at some point, whether it be male or female”.
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