"He's the person that changed everything, a key cultural figure in our landscape," Boyle said. "I love Lydon for what he does and I don't want him to like [the show] — I want him to attack it. I think that's his absolute right. Why would you change the habit of a lifetime?"
"Oh, how fey of him!" Lydon said of Boyle's comment. "It's disgusting, really. How can you be truthful when you don't involve the main frontman who wrote the songs and had to take the hidings and kickings and public admonishments?"
Lydon a.k.a. 'Johnny Rotten' has complained that a dramatization of the Pistols' legacy waters down their true story.
"It's dead against everything we once stood for," he continued. "The only thing you've got of value in your life, and you're going to cheapen that because you want an extra fiver? Not much of a human being there."
Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, whose 2016 memoir serves as the basis for the miniseries, has acknowledged that the show takes plenty of liberties with the sequence of events and, among other plot points, promoted the Chrissie Hynde character to a much greater role his and the band's story.
Jones told NME in May that his only "bugbear" with the show is that it played up the myth that Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren controlled the band. Jones says that aspect of the screenplay is "totally not true," but alas Pistol is not a documentary.
"You've got to make it entertaining," he reasoned. "You've got to look at the big picture, not in this tiny little world where everything happened in real-time and identical. It's very heartfelt, as well — it's not just like a joke. It's got all the elements: sad parts, humorous, different relationships. It's great and I'm well happy. I'm sure there's gonna be a bunch of people that are gonna tear it to pieces, but that's OK."