Canadian Censor to Revisit Ban on Dire Straits' 'Money For Nothing' Song

CRTC said public blowback from ban on British pop song due to a homophobic faux-pas prompted the review.


TORONTO -- Canada’s TV regulator has ordered the country’s radio censor to reconsider its ban on the Dire Straits song “Money For Nothing” on local airwaves.

The CRTC did not parse its decision Friday, unlike the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which listened to the 1980s Dire Straits hit song and concluded the use of the anti-gay slur faggot three times in its lyrics breached industry codes on human rights.

The TV and radio censor decided that “Money For Nothing” should not air on the Canadian airwaves uncut.

The ruling stemmed from a radio listener complaint about the Dire Straits song in Atlantic Canada.

“The CBSC’s decision has elicited a strong public reaction and created uncertainty for private radio stations across the country,” the CRTC said in its decision.

The regulator said it has received around 250 letters from Canadians since the CBSC decision, most of which opposed the ruling and have been passed on to the broadcast censor.

The CBSC, which referees the Canadian airwaves on behalf of broadcasters, faced little blowback when it tackled Howard Stern and The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for breaching industry codes.

But ruling a British pop song which hasn’t aired widely on the radio for a quarter-century, and which questioned MTV’s star-making machinery with apparent irony, has struck a chord among Canadians quick to criticize political correctness and the Nanny State.

The CRTC was also apparently forced to respond to the censorship debate after a host of radio stations in the last week defied the CBSC decision and aired the original version of “Money For Nothing” unedited.