′Joker′ film sparks outrage for using song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter | Film | DW | 14.10.2019
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'Joker' film sparks outrage for using song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter

The use of the song, Rock n' Roll Part 2, has set off an ample amount of concern and criticism as many think it means that Glitter will be collecting royalties.

Convicted sex offender Gary Glitter will not get royalties for the use of his song Rock n' Roll Part 2 in the movie Joker. The recently released, highly anticipated Todd Phillips film has had mixed reviews since it started playing in cinemas and controversy has always been a part of it as well.

Joaquin Phoenix plays the film's lead role of Arthur Fleck/the Joker. Much of the criticism around the movie, though, has nothing to do with the lead actor but more with the film's portrayal of violence and vengeance. Many fear it could bring out real-life copy cats. The movie is now under fire for its choice of music as well, specifically, the song that Phoenix's character dances to in a 2-minute scene, which was co-written and performed by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter.

A still from the highly discussed movie Joker (picture-alliance/dpa//Warner Bros. Entertainment/N. Tavernise)

Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the film’s lead role of Arthur Fleck/the Joker, physically altered himself by losing 52 pounds

Rock n' Roll Part 2 is played while Phoenix dances down a staircase, in full clown-make up, and transforms into the iconic character. Much of the anger on social media and by movie-goers has centered on the fact that Glitter could be receiving royalties for its use. 

Some even took to calling for a boycott of Joker. They are worried that by seeing the film they are financially aiding a convicted sex offender.

No royalties for Glitter

The L.A. Times, however, has reported that Glitter will not be receiving any royalties from the film, and that those concerned about supporting the imprisoned former pop star by going to see Joker need not worry. A spokesman for Snapper Music — the UK company that holds the legal rights to Glitter's master recordings —, said: "Gary Glitter does not get paid. We've had no contact with him." The US rights holder Universal Media Publishing Group made a similar statement: "Gary Glitter's publishing interest in the copyright of his songs is owned by UMPG and other parties, therefore UMPG does not pay him any royalties or other considerations."

Gary Glitter listening to the verdict as he is convicted in a child molestatin case in Vietnam. (picture-alliance/dpa)

Gary Glitter will not be profiting from the movie "Joker" financially

Glitter was arrested and convicted in England in 1997 for downloading a large cache of child pornography. He was later deported from Cambodia and imprisoned in Vietnam for sexual offenses. In 2015, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for a variety of sex crimes involving minors. Now 75, Glitter isn't scheduled for release from prison for another dozen years.

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