It has been announced that Radio 1 will censor the homophobic slur ‘faggot’ from a controversial song – but in the time of a pandemic, there are more serious issues.
In The Pogues’ Christmas classic, ‘Fairytale in New York’, the line ‘you cheap lousy faggot’ has come under heavy criticism despite being released in 1987, when homophobia was more acceptable. Of course, that is not an excuse for it and by current standards, it would be disgraceful. Therefore, in line with ‘cancel culture’, BBC Radio 1 have decided to censor the word ‘faggot’ when being broadcast on air.
On one hand, it is arguable that this is the latest outrage by liberals attempting to cancel everything they don’t agree with. It is also odd that, despite censoring this homophobic line, there have not been calls to censor a line that precedes it, which reads: ‘you’re an old slut on junk’. This line as just as offensive because it ‘slut-shames’ women and stereotypes recreational drug-users.
This line hardly encourages homophobia and some may find the word inoffensive, so I am not by any means arguing that it should be banned – but opposition to the decision seems too extreme.
Those who defend the argument to keep the song uncensored claim it is ruining a traditional, seemingly harmless Christmas song. However, it comes across as homophobic if people are so outraged at the BBC’s decision as to subsequently launch campaigns or complain on social media in an attempt to reverse the decision.
Allowing it to be aired uncensored makes no attempt to show the significant progress of gay rights and societal standards between 1987 and 2020 – something which should be praised.
Frankly, who listens to the radio for music anyway? And if they do, they can turn it off. Those who want to listen to the uncensored version can just as easily do so on Spotify or Apple Music, so what is the big deal? Though I am an ardent critic of liberal cancel culture, it just seems such an insignificant issue to be complaining about.
Some won’t be able to see any family over Christmas. Some won’t even have family to see, and here is the first case of right-wing snowflakes getting upset about a single word being censored in a song that will only be aired for 4 weeks or so. If people are that upset and so desperate to sing that line, they must be homophobic.