- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Warner Bros. is facing a backlash for including a song in the new “Joker” movie performed by Gary Glitter, a convicted pedophile currently imprisoned for a slew of sex crimes.

Released nationwide this weekend, “Joker,” the latest installment in the Batman franchise, features the glam rocker’s best-known tune, “Rock & Roll (Part 2),” during a pivotal scene involving the movie’s titular character.

Critics of the song’s inclusion in the motion picture have since raised concerns over the jailed 75-year-old musician, born Paul Francis Gadd, potentially profiting as a result.

Gadd was convicted in 1999 in connection with downloading child pornography, and in 2015, he was found guilty of attempted rape, indecent assault and having sex with a minor.

He is currently serving a 16-year sentence at a U.K. prison, though the use of his music in the movie could potentially allow him to benefit financially off the film once he’s released from custody.

The Sun, a British tabloid, reported that entertainment industry experts predict Gadd could earn upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the deal. 

“Whatever my mixed feelings about Joker, director Todd Phillips using a track by child abuser Gary Glitter over a key scene — in a film that uses child abuse as a plot device no less — is absolute bulls—t,” tweeted Simon Ragoonanan, a former TV producer and blogger for a British parenting site. “They’re literally paying a [pedophile] to use his music in a movie about the consequences of child abuse. I’m off the fence — this movie is immoral bulls—t.”

Warners Bros. did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

“In actuality, the most morally questionable aspect of the film is the use of a Gary Glitter song, and the film is well aware of this,” tweeted Darren Mooney, a columnist for the Escapist Magazine film blog. “The decision to pay a pedophile royalties is indefensible.”

Gadd released “Rock & Roll (Part 2)” as a single in 1972. It was his only major hit in the U.S., though the song remained popular in the decades that followed due in part to being played frequently at professional sporting events.

Combined U.S. ticket sales for screenings of “Joker” this weekend amounted to about $96.2 million, setting a new monthly box-office record. 

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