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Dire Straits' "faggot" lyric too hot for Canadian radio

Dire Straits' "faggot" lyric too hot for Canadian radio

Single complaint sparked CBSC investigation
The word “faggot,” used in the song "Money for Nothing" by British rock band Dire Straits, is too controversial for Canadian radio, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has decided.

In a ruling released Jan 12, the CBSC said the gay slur used in the song does not fit with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code human rights clauses.

“Our decision says the use of the word ‘faggot’ is problematic in the broadcast area, not off the airways,” says Ron Cohen, CBSC national chair.

The decision follows a single complaint from a St John’s, Newfoundland, CHOZ-FM listener.

Radio stations like OZ are not required to be CBSC members and can leave the association if they choose. The CBSC is not a governmental organization and has no power to fine those who defy its edicts.

In the ruling, the listener’s complaint was quoted verbatim:

“A song was aired, ‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straits, and included the word ‘faggot’ a total of three times. I am aware of other versions of the song, in which the word was replaced with another, and yet OZ FM chose to play and not censor this particular version that I am complaining about.

I find this extremely offensive as a member of the LGBT community and feel that there is absolutely no valid reason for such discriminatory remarks to be played on-air.”

The song's second verse uses the offensive word three times: “The little faggot with the earring and the makeup”; “That little faggot's got his own jet airplane”; “That little faggot, he's a millionaire.”

Cohen says no lobby groups were involved in the decision. 

“Our job is not to conduct a poll. The issue is not numbers. The issue is whether the standard is or isn't breached. I can't speak to other groups who might not be happy. We have standards and our application to them is not reaching a threshold number of complaints,” says Cohen.

Over the years, CBSC has looked at many instances where words could potentially be perceived as gay slurs. There are two earlier decisions dealing with the British slang “fag,” which means cigarette.

“That word was in that case acceptable because of context. This is the first time we dealt with the word in length. Is it different? Maybe,” says Cohen.

The CBSC's membership is made up of private broadcasters, meaning that the CBC — which represents about 15 percent of the country's radio listeners — is not a member.

Comments

Pathetic decision
Yup, I'm a gay man. Yup, I'm a Brit too. Yup, I'm a Dire Straits fan. I find this decision by the CBSC disgraceful. Did they even listen to the song? If so, their review process is woefully inadequate or they are complete idiots. It's written in THIRD PERSON, do they not understand this most basic of writing tools? There's also a cultural aspect to this which is not being discussed. Growing up gay in the north of England is not easy, especially as it's full of homophobes as described in this song. The word "faggot" is/was used extensively by these asshats, especially in the 80s. Apparently the CBSC and some people commenting here are too stupid to realise the song is *MAKING FUN OF* those aforementioned meathead homophobes. Is it really that difficult to grasp? Stuff like this is a slippery slope. Especially if we are banning songs based on ONE complaint over 25 years. Canada, get your act together you're becoming a laughing stock.
Research & Education
In 1980, Dire Straits released an album called Making Movies. This album included a song called Les Boys. Anyone on the planet that thinks Mark Knofler and Dire Straits is homophobic, had better take a listen to Les Boys. You'll find out very quickly that in fact there's everything except homophobia in connection to Knofler and his old band Dire Straits. One note about the comments made on the other related store that were made about Elton John; for almost 2 decades now, he has donated millions of dollars towards AIDS research, education of AIDS and the hospice care of people living with AIDS. Elton John's coming out of the closet in the mid 1980's has done much for younger people around the world comforting them that if a famous person in Rock 'n Roll can openly say they are gay, then maybe they can find the strength to be themselves too. Shame on the people that have decided to take shots at this man.
Hysterical Hypocrites
It is a fairly rendered decision on existing broadcast standards, bleeps/edits are everywhere on pop radio. Where are the proponents of free speech when it comes to the censorship of gay expression in schools or primetime TV? Don't you think it suspect that they cry censorship now, considering how much it already exists, without the hysterical uproar? I hardly think this is the best case to champion freedom of expression when gays are still beaten/killed for public affection/expression. This only amounts to complete and disgusting hypocrisy. Those who truly love freedom should get their priorities straight, and champion violations of freedom that have real consequences, rather than quibble suspiciously over a fair decision on existing standards. HA! Double standards! Xtra comments has a policy of no defamation, yet prints an article supporting the use of defamatory lyrics! http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2011/01/14/Dire-Straits-Money-For-Nothing-is-not-homophobic.aspx
Even the International community are laughing
at Canada http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBV3pyctIW4 this is nothing short of censorship
The imperialists in Toronto has double standard
with censorship issues, and some in the local LGBT community even supported Q104 to play the song uncensored.
what is a bad word?
I was living in Halifax in 2002. One bright sunny day, I was happily driving my sisters car, the sun was out, I was having a good day until I turned on the radio. "that little faggot with his earring and his makeup ......" blared out. I thought, "why should I have to listen to that word being broadcasted out like its a non-offensive term. I don't hear white people singing Nigga in their lyrics. I don't hear fuck on the radio. So I decided to call the radio station. I spoke to the programmer and told him I find that term offensive and why should I have to hear it. He told me in the 25 years he has been on the radio, no one has ever called in to complain so that means that since thousands and thousands of others don't seem to mind, it makes him think I am being unreasonable. I then told him I don't hear bad words like fuck on the radio. Faggot is a bad word. To which he said, based on the fact that I was the only one to complain EVER...... he thinks I am off base. I hung up sooo pissed off. But the very next day, I was listening to Alannis Morrisette's song that has fuck in the lyrics. They had cut the word! So I thought... oh,,, fuck is bad but faggot is ok to say. Only within a homophobic social paradigm!
Cheeky ?
I still think of how cheeky this song was. In the 80's with all the glam, etc being gay or knowing someone gay was just fab and the folklore about us was as fantastic, we were all supposed to be rich, right? Think of the movie " Guido" GWM: gay with money.I understand it is wrong but at the time I had a chuckle about it, I also understand it was degrading as a word. The band has offered to change it to fudger and this will throw us back to the 50's.
Faggoty question
I wonder why the homophobic words & sentiments in The Bible (e.g Leviticus and the words of St Paul) are not censored (or banned outright) by some public-spirited, politically correct entity? (I also wonder if MCC members use a censored Bible to avoid the hateful words?) These Biblical words/strictures cause a lot more both real & psychic damage in the world than do the lyrics of a classic 1980's rock song satirizing such homophobia. But maybe But I have to admit as a left of centre free speech advocate (note that Peter) I do not support the censorship or banning of the Bible or of Dire Straits.
money for nothing
I want my CBSC Now look at you yo-yo's that's the way you do it You play the censor at the CBSC It ain't workin' but that's the way you do it Money for nothin' and the dicks are free Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it Lemme tell ya you guys are dumb Maybe get a blister on your little finger Maybe get a blister sticking it up your bum We gotta install gas fueled ovens Aborted fetus deliveries We gotta remove you freedom haters We gotta remove you CBSCs (See the little f***** with the earring and the makeup Yeah buddy I guess you’re off the air, That little f***** had his own jet airplane That little f***** was a millionaire) We gotta install gas fueled ovens Aborted fetus deliveries We gotta remove you freedom haters We gotta remove these CBSCs I shoulda learned to play the victim I shoulda learned to play your games Jesus Christ! bitch she got it stickin' in the camera Man we can’t ban that And she's up there, what's that? Whining noises? Bangin' on the bongoes like a niggeranzee Your way doesn’t work, but that's the way you do it You Get money for nothin', get your dicks for free We gotta install gas fueled ovens Aborted fetus deliveries We gotta remove you freedom haters We gotta remove these CBSCs Look a' here That ain't workin' that's the way you do it You play God at the CBSC It ain't workin' that's the way you do it Money for nothin' and your dicks for free Money for nothin' and dicks for free Money for nothin' and your dicks for free Look at that, look at that Money for nothin' and your dicks for free I want my, I want my, I want my CBSC Money for nothin' and fag goes free (Fade) I want my, I want my, I want my CBSC
it can be a compliment too
Context is everything when it comes to language and it takes at least two people or more agreeing on the meaning of any word for it to have any particular meaning at all. I'm a traditionally masculine guy, almost always mistaken for being hetero unless you spend some time with me and I don't lisp or sound gay either, well sometimes when I get really excited but not normally. At one point in my life that was a big issue for me, not appearing very gay and always being mistaken for hetero, I felt like I wasn't gay enough in my life. One day while walking down Lakeshore in south Etobicoke where I live a guy passing me sneered "faggot" and walked away. Well I was thrilled! To me calling me faggot, especially at that time in my life, was the kindest most affirming thing anyone, especially a relative stranger, could have said to me. Sure he meant it as an insult but to me it was a great compliment that he was able to recognize that I'm gay without spending much time with me, I had seen him around the neighbourhood and on the bus sometimes so we recognized each other but we had never talked before. My point being just because one person uses the word faggot as an insult its not actually an insult unless the person hearing it agrees its an insult, if not then its what ever you make of it. Mind you I do sometimes use the word fag or faggot and other slang words for gay too but in positive ways, when among my friends so I'm not inclined to feel insulted by being called a faggot but that is my point. Something is not an insult unless both the person saying it and those hearing it both agree its an insult. That's also the theory behind reclaiming words that used to be hurtful like queer for example, we don't have to let words hurt us, though of course sometimes we have little to no control over it, but sometimes we can take control and use and understand formerly hurtful words in positive ways so they no longer hurt or insult. That's a good thing in my opinion.

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