Joaquin Phoenix’s new film Joker has only been out for a week and it has already stirred up a fair amount of controversy because of its violent themes. However, a new development has ruffled feathers for a completely different reason.
According to The Sun, Joker could earn convicted paedophile and glam rock singer Gary Glitter a fortune because of the use of his song ‘Rock and Roll Part 2.’
The 1972 track, which Glitter helped write, appears in the film for around 2 minutes during the scene in which Phoenix dances down a long flight of stairs while transforming into his evil character.
Having already grossed over $140M AUD at the box office, experts say Glitter could make hundreds of thousands of dollars off Joker. The Sun states that he will “receive a lump sum for letting the recording be used and royalties will be paid based on how well the film does in cinemas, plus DVD sales and sales of the film’s soundtrack.”
It’s safe to say the news of Glitter’s involvement in the film hasn’t gone down well with fans who have taken to social media to share their thoughts and feelings.
One user tweeted, “Why did Joker director Todd Phillips decide to push fans and royalty payments towards convicted paedophile Gary Glitter? Mystifying to include him in the soundtrack,” and another called it a “poor choice.”
Gary Glitter, born Paul Francis Gadd, was arrested in 1997 and convicted in 1999 after pornographic images of children were discovered on the hard drive of his laptop and in his homes. Throughout the early noughties, Glitter faced various child sexual abuse charges in different countries and was eventually deported back to the UK where he was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
In 2015, he was found guilty of attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault, and one of having sex with a girl under the age of 13 between 1975 and 1980. He is currently serving a sentence of 16 years in prison.
Sadly, Joker isn’t the only film Glitter’s track has been featured in. ‘Rock and Roll Part 2’ has appeared on the soundtracks of movies including The Full Monty, The Replacements, Meet The Fockers, Happy Gilmore and Small Soldiers. In the U.S, the song is also consistently associated with sports and is often used to signify victory.
Perhaps it’s best filmmakers choose literally any other song when designing their soundtracks in the future.