The Dire Straits song, Money For Nothing, has been banned from Canadian radio because it is deemed homophobic.
The song, written almost 30 years ago, uses the word faggot in the verse:
The little faggot with the earring and the makeup.
Yeah buddy, that's his own hair.
That little faggot got his own jet airplane.
That little faggot he's a millionaire
The Canadian Broadcasts Standards Council has ruled that any radio station wishing to play the song must edit or bleep out the offending word, which appears three times.
In its ruling the Standards Council said that even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, [the word 'faggot'] no longer so. The societal values at issue a quarter century later have shifted and the broadcast of the song in 2010
must reflect those values, rather than those of 1985 .
Later versions of Money For Nothing replace the word faggot with mother , which the Standards Council said the radio station should have played instead.
One listener had complained that the song was extremely offensive to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, the Vancouver Sun reports.
Update: Edited in the UK
15th January 2011. Thanks to DarkAngel on the Melon Farmers Forum
I'm not sure about other UK radio stations, but both commercial radio stations in Peterborough, Connect FM and Heart (formerly Hereward) have been playing an edited version of the song for a number of years now, which totally
omits that particular verse.
Update: Classic Rock Protest
15th January 2011. See article
Newcap programmer Steve Jones said that Canada's Broadcast Standards Council went too far in banning the original 1985 Grammy-winning
version of Money For Nothing.
He said: If you listen to the context of the terms, you will realize it is an artistic portrayal of a bigoted person looking at the riches and excesses of the music industry. (The lyric goes That little faggot with the earring and the makeup/Yeah,
buddy, that's his own hair/That little faggot's got a jet airplane/That little faggot, he's a millionaire.)
K97 added that LGBT supporter Elton John has performed the song as written.
So on 14th January, the radio station CIRK and Newcap sisters Q104 and K-Rock protested about the dangers of censorship . They looped the unedited version of Money For Nothing for a whole hour.
They've also invited representatives from the gay community to participate.