Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing’ Banned in Canada
Stop. Before you read this story, can you guess why “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits is causing such a stir in Canada? After all, it was released about a quarter century ago. (How old does that make you feel?) Make your guesses and read on.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that “Money for Nothing,” a Dire Straits hit from 1985, is too offensive for Canadian airwaves. The song is being singled out for the repeated use of an anti-gay slur — “that little faggot” — in its second verse.
This hasn’t stopped some Canadian classic rock radio stations from playing the song. In the days since the ruling, stations in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Edmonton, Alberta have protested the decision by playing an unedited version of the song on repeated for a full hour.
Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher shared songwriter Mark Knopfler’s reaction in the forum of his website, writing “Mark tells me that due to the ban, he has now substituted the word faggot for ‘fudger’…for Canada.”
Though “Money for Nothing” has been a staple of rock radio for over two decades, the move to ban the song came as a result of a complaint by a listener in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The ruling does not ban the song outright — versions with the offending words edited out are safe for airplay.