Canada's broadcast standards council has ruled that Dire Straits' 1985 hit "Money for Nothing" should be censored because of a homosexual slur in its lyrics.
The council said the British band's use of a slur referring to gay people three times in the song breaches the national broadcasters' code of ethics. The council said an edited version of the song could be played.
Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, an organization that promotes equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified people, said Thursday the decision is the right move given a number of teenage suicides that took place in the U.S. last year after they were subjected to homophobic bullying.
"It perpetuates the stereotype, it's negative and it's offensive. If you look to the origin of the word, it's disgusting," said Kennedy.
The council said it realized Dire Straits used the word sarcastically when the best-selling "Brothers in Arms" album was released in 1985, but said it was inappropriate.
The decision was made after a radio listener complained about the song last year.
The station would not comment on the decision Thursday.
"Money for Nothing" was a massive hit upon its release in 1985. It won a Grammy, reached No. 1 on the charts in Canada and the U.S. and spawned a famous music video that featured crude computer animation and became interwoven with the popularity of the then-fledgling music network MTV. Dire Straits dissolved as a band in the 1990s after a string of hit albums.