Outrage grows over Joker movie's use of song by convicted child molester Gary Glitter
The Todd Phillips film Joker has only been in theatres for a few days, but outrage is quickly growing over the use of a particular song: the 1970s Gary Glitter hit Rock and Roll (Part 2).
The song plays for roughly two minutes during a key scene, when the Joker character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, dances on a flight of stairs in Gotham City as he transforms into the villainous character.
While it's unclear how much Glitter — who is serving 16 years in prison in the U.K. for child-related sex offences — stands to profit from the use of the song, many industry watchers say the number could be significant.
That's not sitting well with many film fans online, who are raising concerns over the song's use.
"Gary Glitter gets royalties for Joker. They're literally paying a paedophile to use his music in a movie about the consequences of child abuse," writes one Twitter user. "I'm off the fence — this movie is immoral bulls--t."
Gary Glitter gets royalties for Joker. They're literally paying a paedophile to use his music in a movie about the consequences of child abuse. I'm off the fence - this movie is immoral bullshit.—@ManVsPink
"I would NEVER normally advocate this. However, if you are planning on seeing #Joker this weekend please pirate or torrent it," writes another. "F--k the profits of ANY movie that •knowingly• lines the pockets of a paedophile scumbag like #GaryGlitter!"
"Not sure if Americans have been following this. But the Joker stairs dancing sequence lasts for barely 2 min (if that) and because of the song choice, prolific pedophile Gary Glitter will be making thousands in royalties," writes another.
Oh. Not sure if Americans have been following this. But the Joker stairs dancing sequence lasts for barely 2 min (if that) and because of the song choice, prolific pedophile Gary Glitter will be making thousands in royalties<a href="https://t.co/nMqDf6EYEZ">https://t.co/nMqDf6EYEZ</a><br><br>We live in a society! <a href="https://t.co/yNvjZNXt9q">pic.twitter.com/yNvjZNXt9q</a>—@broderick
Still another argued the choice was deliberate and juvenile.
I’m of two minds about this, to be frank. On one level, the film’s provocations are deliberately juvenile, bordering in on trollish.<br><br>In actuality, the most morally questionable aspect of the film is the use of a Gary Glitter song, and the film is well aware of this. <a href="https://t.co/h25dHrc4js">pic.twitter.com/h25dHrc4js</a>—@Darren_Mooney
Others are boycotting the film specifically because of the song.
So I was gonna watch the joker but I discovered today they have used a Gary Glitter song of which he will receive revenue. If you are unaware who that is but have a conscience I’d suggest you google him before you decide to go the cinema.—@CaptainEvasion
Another user had a different solution.
Fixed! Now convicted pedophile Gary Glitter won't receive any royalties! But Smash Mouth will! Win-win! <a href="https://t.co/OmLBF2Pfoa">pic.twitter.com/OmLBF2Pfoa</a>—@leoadriangarcia
The glam rocker, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was known for his outlandish suits, boots and makeup, and he sold more than 20 million records. He had 26 hit singles in the U.K., with 12 of them making it into the top 10, and three reaching number one.
The British rocker's biggest song was Rock and Roll, a 1972 dance hit that later became associated with professional sports, especially in North America, in the same way the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army later became associated with professional soccer.
But in the late 1990s and 2000s Glitter returned to the limelight for a far darker reason: he was convicted for a host of sex offenses involving children, including downloading child pornography in England and child sexual abuse in Vietnam. After his second conviction, the NFL requested that teams stop playing the song.
In 2014 Gadd was charged In the U.K. with sexual offences dating back decades, among them rape and indecent assault. On Feb. 25, 2015, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
On its opening weekend, the R-rated film Joker raked in $93.5 million in the United States alone, which marks the most lucrative debut in history for any film released in October. The Batman spinoff also pulled in $140.5 million US internationally.