In a statement on Lydon’s website, a representative says they were “led to believe” that the series would focus on founding member Steve Jones and would not be “a Sex Pistols story”, but that that “doesn’t seem to be the case” based on its trailer.
“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 continues.
“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.”
Created and written by Craig Pearce and directed by Boyle, based off Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, the six-episode Pistol is set to premiere on Hulu (and Disney+ where Hulu isn’t available) on May 31. The official trailer for the series arrived earlier this month.
Speaking to NME about the show recently, Anson Boon, who portrays Lydon, explained: “This is the story of the underdog. I think that will always be a story worth telling and it will never not be relevant.”
Lydon has been vocally critical of Pistol, calling it “the most disrespectful shit I’ve ever had to endure” and claiming it was green-lit without his consent in 2021. At the time, a spokesperson for the Pistol production said Boyle had contacted Lydon’s management company about the planned series but that “ultimately direct contact was declined”.
Last year, Lydon also lost a legal battle against his Sex Pistols bandmates over the series, after he refused to license the band’s music for inclusion in it. Jones and drummer Paul Cook legally challenged Lydon’s veto, citing a band agreement made in 1998 which stated that decisions about licensing requests could be determined on a “majority rules basis”.