As if “Joker” weren’t mired in enough controversy, now the movie is angering fans over a song used in the film.
While the new flick has been hit with backlash due to its R-rating and provocative subject matter, it’s now under fire for using a song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter on its soundtrack.
Glitter’s 1972 hit “Rock and Roll Part 2” served as the backdrop to a pivotal scene, where star Joaquin Phoenix dances down a long flight of stairs while transforming into the iconic character.
After gaining success in the 1970s and 1980s, Glitter (real name: Paul Gadd) was arrested for downloading child pornography in the 1990s. In 2015, he was found guilty of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13, and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
“Gary Glitter gets royalties for ‘Joker’,” one critic wrote to Twitter. “They’re literally paying a pedophile to use his music in a movie about the consequences of child abuse. I’m off the fence — this movie is immoral bulls**t.”
However, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Glitter won’t be paid a dime for the song being used in “Joker” — because Glitter sold the rights to all of his music to British label Snapper Music more than 20 years ago. Universal Music Publishing Group represents his music in North America, confirming they will “not pay him any royalties or other considerations.”
Considering Glitter sold all of his rights, the music labels don’t even contact him when his music is being used. This is true for all movies that featured Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part 2” including: “Boyhood”, “Meet The Fockers”, “The Office”, and “South Park”.
“Joker” is playing now in theatres.