After decades of radio airplay in Canada without major incident, Dire Straits’ 1985 classic “Money for Nothing” must be edited in order to receive further play, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has decided, according to a press release from the organization.
The CBSC’s Atlantic Regional Panel determined the use of the word “faggot” in the song’s lyrics contravenes the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. The word appears three times in the song.
The investigation was launched after a complaint from a listener after a Feb. 1 broadcast of the song on Newfoundland’s OZ FM, a classic rock station with a policy of playing original versions of songs. The complainant pointed out that OZ FM does edit other songs that contain other types of offensive language, according to the press release issued by CBSC.
After examining the complaint, the panel said in the statement, “Like other racially driven words in the English language, ‘faggot’ is one that, even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, is no longer so. The Panel finds that it has fallen into the category of unacceptable designations on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability.”
The Panel’s decision concludes CHOZ-FM breached Clause 2 of the CAB Code of Ethics, and Clauses 2, 7 and 9 of the Equitable Portrayal Code.