Pop Culture

‘Joker’ faces new controversy for using song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter

Even before its release, Todd Phillips‘ R-rated Joker film was the subject of major controversy. Now that it’s screening in cinemas worldwide, it seems some moviegoers have discovered another thing they don’t like about the movie: its soundtrack — or at least one song in particular.

Towards the end of the two-hour psychological thriller, the severely depressed and unpredictably manic Arthur Fleck (portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix) transforms into the sinister Joker, and he is seen dancing to Gary Glitter‘s Rock ‘n’ Roll (Part 2).

Gary Glitter, the former British glam-rock star whose music career saw a great deal of success in the 1970s and ’80s, is also a convicted pedophile.

Gary Glitter, pictured on Feb. 5, 2015.

Gary Glitter, pictured on Feb. 5, 2015.

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

As a result, a number of upset fans have taken to social media expressing their anger and concern that Glitter would be receiving royalties for having his 1972 sports anthem featured in both the Joker film and its respective soundtrack.

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In 2015, Glitter, 75, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing three underage girls in the ’70s.

READ MORE: Joaquin Phoenix ’embarrassed’ by video of profanity-laden ‘Joker’ outtake

He was found guilty in February 2015 of one count of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13.

The singer was arrested in October 2012 under Operation Yewtree, a national investigation launched by British police in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal surrounding late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile.

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/The Joker in ‘Joker,’ 2019.

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/The Joker in ‘Joker,’ 2019.

Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection

In addition to accusations of glorifying murder, violence, villainy and the “incel” communityJoker is now facing backlash over its use of Glitter’s song.

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One social media user tweeted: “I am assuming… Someone who made the decision is also a pedophile and needs to be investigated. This is no coincidence or unthoughtful action,” they added. “Support = support a pedophile.”

READ MORE: ‘Rick and Morty’ returns for Season 4

Here’s what some more Twitter users had to say about ‘Joker’:

They used a Gary Glitter song in Joker… Holy s–t, Americans don’t know about Gary Glitter do they…” one social media user wrote.

READ MORE: ‘Joker’ review — Joaquin Phoenix shines, but movie sends the wrong message

In only its first week, Joker has smashed a number of box office records. It garnered US$248 million worldwide, according to CNN, making it Warner Bros.‘ largest opening to date.

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Not only that, but it holds the biggest opening of any R-rated film ever.

Blockbuster film ‘Joker’ raises concerns about real-life violence

Blockbuster film ‘Joker’ raises concerns about real-life violence

Joker is now playing in cinemas across Canada.

— With files from the Associated Press


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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