Council rules on ‘Money for Nothing’ slur

Nick Patch
Published on August 31, 2011
Guitarist Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, plays his Gibson Les Paul guitar while performing during Live Aid concert for famine relief at Wembley Stadium in London, England July 13,1985. The 1980s song "Money for Nothing" by the British rock band Dire Straits has been deemed unacceptable for play on Canadian radio. — Photo by The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council says a homosexual slur in the Dire Straits hit “Money for Nothing” is inappropriate but has to be taken in context and suggests individual radio stations choose whether the song is acceptable.

The CRTC had asked for a review of the council’s January ban on the song, which created a public backlash.

The outcry occurred after the council ruled the 1985 song was unfit for radio because its lyrics include an anti-gay slur.

Today, the council released its review and said the original decision was correct in deeming the song inappropriate.

But it added that the context of the tune must be taken into consideration.

The majority of the council’s panel felt the song used the word satirically and not in a hateful manner.

It noted alternative versions of the song are available and suggested broadcasters choose which to play based on the sensitivity of listeners.