Watch: Johnny Rotten be a “sexist misogynist pig” on The Project

UPDATE: 10/4/2013 – John Lydon has issued an official statement in response to his “misogynist” appearance on The Panel: “I am the enemies of governments and institutions, certainly not women. I’ve been married to one for 30 years. We love each other.” Lydon has no plans to make further comment.


Margaret Thatcher died yesterday but punk icon Johnny Rotten wasn’t railing against the conservative former prime minister. His foe for the day was the Australian media.

At the first stop on his tour with Public Image Limited in Brisbane last night, a jovial John Lydon greeted the crowd with a chipper, “Hello, Brisbane. My name is John. I can talk to anyone except Australian TV presenters. What a pack of cunts.”

The on-stage attack followed a bizarre interview on Channel Ten’s The Project that quickly descended into accusations of misogyny when host Carrie Bickmore cut Lydon off to ask a question about Thatcher. “Hey misses, shut-up!” Lydon snapped back at Bickmore. “Who ever you are shut up, shut up, shut up. Now listen, when a man is talking do not interrupt … stop it you sound like one of them dreadful loud birds I don’t like … You’ve gotta learn what manners and respect is; I’m Johnny “fucking” Rotten and I’m telling you a truth.” Lydon then ended the interview by complaining that all four of The Project’s hosts were shouting “like excitable children”.

The interview had been pre-recorded for the show and had been hyped on Twitter with tweets from Dave Hughes and Andrew Rochford alerting viewers that they’d see Lydon being “a total asshole” and a “misogynist”. The Project’s official account claimed “you won’t believe what he said to our panel!”. Following the broadcast of the interview, Rochford jumped to Bickmore’s defence, describing Rotten as a “flat out sexist misogynist pig”.

Rotten had a similar run-in with ABC Breakfast presenter and former Sky Hook Red Symons on air last month. In an “interview” that lasted just 90 seconds, Lydon called Symons a “fanny”, an “arsehole” and claimed he’d had a more interesting career than him. “I’m Johnny, you know, I’m a lad,” he said. “I’m a man about town, a man about the world.”

It was a totally different John Lydon that FL encountered when we spoke to the punk icon last month. He spoke warmly and candidly for 40 minutes, covering a wide range of topics including The Sex Pistols, Public Image Limited, death, astronomy, Judge Judy, phone-tapping and the secret world of international butter wars. Read it in full here.

Related: Live review – Public Image Ltd @ Hi-Fi,Brisbane