After the ban that Dire Straits had in Canada for the song “Money For Nothing” now the song can be played and can be on a playlist of some of the rock radios in Canada.
Song was removed for anti-gay slur and was pulled from national playlists in January 2011 after a one single listener complained about the use of the word “faggot” on Newfoundland radio station CHOZ-FM.
“Money For Nothing” was immediately deemed a breach of the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. The decision caused public outrage in support of the classic song.
Alan Cross a broadcaster and writer – said the ruling made Canada “look silly” to the rest of the world. “I talked to people from the U.S. and the U.K. and they were like, “What’s wrong with you people? Don’t you get it? It’s a joke. It’s a satire. You didn’t understand the context?’’
The new decision was based on what CBSC calls “Considerable Additional Information” – such as learning that alternative versions of “Money For Nothing” have existed since 1985, proving “The band and the composer considered that there was a less offensive way of presenting the song to the public long ago” and the context in which the word is used demonstrates that “The composer’s language appears not to have had an iota of malevolent or insulting intention.”
Stations now have the option to play the original version or any one the alternative versions.
Cross wasn’t surprised at the original decision or the amendment. “They have to be very careful that they’re meeting the needs of all Canadians,” he says. “When it comes to things like foul language and discriminatory language, it’s really tough for the CBSC to rule in any direction but for the plaintiff.
“Every single incident is taken as an isolated case. So what happens when somebody complains about the Tragically Hip’s ‘At The Hundredth Meridian’ with the F-bomb in it? What if somebody complains about the Who from 1978, ‘Who Are You’ with ‘Who the f**k are you’ in it? Under the rules, the CBSC would have to rule those songs unplayable on Canadian airwaves because of language.”
The ban was met with international ridicule and thousands of emails, letter and phone calls to radio stations in support of the song. Mark Knopfler offered to replace the word faggot with “fudger” but this wasn’t enough for the authorities.The single listener who complained was from St John’s in Newfoundland but has not been identified.
Canadian TV Stations now have the option of playing the “rude” version of “Money For Nothing” or a later version which does not use word “faggot”.