A scene in the new Joker movie is soundtracked by “Rock And Roll Part 2,” a 1972 song by Gary Glitter. Its inclusion has faced criticism because the British glam-rock artist was found guilty of a number of sex crimes, including having sex with a girl under the age of 13, attempted rape, and four counts of indecent assault. He’s currently serving 16 years in prison.
As The Los Angeles Times reports, Glitter does not receive royalties for the song nor would he have seen any money related to its appearance in Joker. Glitter sold his rights to that song and the rest of his music over two decades ago to the London label Snapper Music; stateside, profits from the song go to the Universal Music Publishing Group, who say that they do “not pay him any royalties or other considerations.”
“Gary Glitter does not get paid,” an anonymous representative for Snapper Music told the LA Times. “We’ve had no contact with him. People generally come to us. We don’t promote it at all.” Joker isn’t the only media that “Rock And Roll Part 2″ has been featured in over the years — it’s also appeared in Boyhood, Meet The Fockers, The Office, and South Park. A music supervisor speculated that the Joker team probably would have paid somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 for the rights to use the song.
Despite the fact that Glitter would not see any money from the song, the New York Post reports that the film’s studio Warner Bros. is considering removing the track from future releases of the film on DVD and through video-on-demand. Director Todd Phillips has apparently been part of the talks to potentially remove the song, though no decision has been made and Warner Bros. did not respond to requests for comment.