In a pivotal scene from the movie Joker, Joaquin Phoenix dances down a long flight of stairs to the 1972 Gary Glitter hit “Rock and Roll Part 2,” thus transforming into the iconic character.
Glitter, you may remember, was a huge glam rock star in the 1970s and 1980s, but was arrested in the 1990s for downloading child pornography. He was later found guilty of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13, and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Social media’s outrage over director Todd Phillips used the song is due to the fact that Glitter could be receiving royalties because of it.
via Hollywood Reporter:
“Gary Glitter gets royalties for Joker. They’re literally paying a paedophile to use his music in a movie about the consequences of child abuse. I’m off the fence – this movie is immoral bullshit,” tweeted one critic, while another said the track choice was the “most morally questionable” aspect of the film
Not saying that director Todd Phillips isn’t an asshat (see his “Woke culture cancelled comedy forever” quotes), but this controversy seems a bit of a stretch. A nihilistic anarchist like the Joker dancing to Gary Glitter feels pretty on point to me. It was a choice, and it worked for the character. I certainly don’t want Glitter to benefit from that, but I understand the songs inclusion.
What do YOU think?