Dire Straits are not among rock’s natural controversy magnets. But a brouhaha has erupted in the past few days over their 1985 track “Money For Nothing,” which private broadcasters in Canada are no longer allowed to play because it features the word “faggot.”British rockers
Last Wednesday, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that “Money for Nothing” is “extremely offensive” and inappropriate for airing on radio or television because it contains repeated use of the anti-gay slur. CBSC chairman Ron Cohen told the Washington Times the decision effectively sets a “nationwide” precedent binding on all private license holders for TV, cable-TV and radio broadcasting. The CBSC is an independent, non-governmental organization which administers standards established by private broadcasters.
Yesterday, Dire Straits keyboard player Guy Fletcher responded to the controversy on his website. “MFN does not ‘celebrate’ a slur,” he wrote. “In it, Mark uses real everyday U.S. street language to describe how a numbskull worker in a hardware department in a television/custom kitchen/refrigerator/microwave appliance store, feels about a video being shown in the store.” The Consumers’ Association of Canada has also urged federal broadcast regulator the Canadian Radiotelevision Telecommunication Commission to review the decision.
What do you think? Is this an example of “political correctness gone mad”? Or an entirely reasonable decision inspired by an unwillingness to tolerate homophobic slurs, regardless of context? Let us know!
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