Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Canada Bans "Money For Nothing"

Dire Straits' 1985 hit "Money for Nothing" has been banned from public radio and television in Canada 26 years after its release due to singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler's use of the word "faggot" in the song:

It was No. 1 in 1985, but it's unacceptable for Canadian eyes and ears today.

The Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing" was ruled by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to be "extremely offensive" and thus inappropriate for airing on radio or television because it uses an anti-gay slur.

The decision against St. John's radio station CHOZ-FM in Newfoundland was released Wednesday. In it, the panel ruled that the word "faggot" "contravened the Human Rights Clauses" and its ethics code and is "no longer" permitted "even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days."

Ron Cohen, the CBSC's national chairman, told The Washington Times on Thursday that the decision effectively sets a "nationwide" precedent binding on all private license holders for TV, cable-TV and radio broadcasting. It does not cover the state-run Canadian Broadcasting Corp. or "community and university" stations.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/13/dire-straits-song-banned-canada-anti-gay-slur/

The song features the singer/bass player from the Police, Sting, on vocals, parodying the Police's hit "Don't Stand So Close to Me" in the intro as Sting sings the lines "I want my/I want my/I want my MTV." Incidentally, the animated music video for the song (which Mark Knopfler was against) was a huge hit on MTV and the first video to be aired on MTV Europe.

The song reached number one in the Billboard charts at the time of its release, with the single version of the song being edited down from its original 8-minute length, cutting out Sting's intro and the verse with the word "faggot."

Mark Knopfler on his use of the word:

I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London - he actually said it was below the belt. Apart from the fact that there are stupid gay people as well as stupid other people, it suggests that maybe you can't let it have so many meanings - you have to be direct. In fact, I'm still in two minds as to whether it's a good idea to write songs that aren't in the first person, to take on other characters. The singer in "Money for Nothing" is a real ignoramus, hard hat mentality - somebody who sees everything in financial terms. I mean, this guy has a grudging respect for rock stars. He sees it in terms of, well, that's not working and yet the guy's rich: that's a good scam. He isn't sneering.


  1. Just when I thought America couldn't get any more uptight and PC.

    Wait what?


  2. interesting read, will finish later

  3. Interesante. Im actually learning something from all of these blogs lol. Even if i tl;dr most of em.

  4. lol serious?


  5. From the movie "Chuck and Larry", I thought Canada approves the usage of the word "faggot"?

  6. I was reading about a news station that supposedly started playing this song 24/7 after this ban haha

  7. So ridiculous, I'll join in the protest and loop it up! <3 Knofler.