Dire Straits song using gay slur is too offensive to air says Canadian Broadcast Standards ... 25 years later

Posted by JD Uy
January 14, 2011 2:14 PM |

The little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy, that's his own hair.
The little faggot got his own jet airplane.
The little faggot, he's a millionaire.

We got to install microwave ovens.
Custom kitchen deliveries.
We got to move these refrigerators.
We've got to move these color TVs. 

Lyrics by the British rock band Dire Straits for their 1985 hit, "Money for Nothing." At the time of it's release, that portion of the hit song was considered controversial and most Top 40 radio stations played an alternative version. The song is said to have been written and performed in the third-person character of a jealous, blue-collar worker; but that message was likely lost on many of the band's teenage fans at a time when Wham! and Culture Club videos were aired frequently. Today, "Classic Rock" radio stations tend to play the original, and MTV has the original video posted on it's site.

''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.''

Part of a single complaint received by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council about the uncensored version of "Money for Nothing" still being played on a Newfoundland radio station, CHOZ-FM. The Council has decided that "the word 'faggot' is problematic in the broadcast area." CBSC is a non-governmental organization that administers "standards established by its members." Xtra reports that Canadian radio stations are not required to be members of the CBSC. (Xtra.ca

''The whole thing is absurd because it's all been taken out of context. If you listen to the song and you know the song, the so-called offensive word is actually a shot at people who would use that offensive word.''

Terry DiMonte of Calgary's classic rock Q107 reacting to the CBSC's decision about "Money for Nothing." (CTV)

The lead singer of Dire Straits, Mark Knopler, has changed the lyrics to various other similar but less shocking words -- queenie, mama, trucker -- in more recent live performances.


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