Published Oct 16, 2019As the controversy wheel attached to Todd Phillips's Joker continues to turn, another update about the film's involvement with convicted sexual predator Gary Glitter has surfaced.
It turns out — after many twists and turns surrounding the legalities of royalties owed to the disgraced rock star — that he may actually make money off of the film by its use of his song "Rock and Roll Part 2," despite previous reports. Furthermore, Warner Bros. has set the record straight — the song is staying in the film.
Earlier this month, news came of the possible royalties from the film making their way to Glitter, who is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence for his crimes. Later, it was discovered Glitter sold his rights to the song and all his other music over 20 years ago. Now, as pointed out by Billboard, digital performance royalties from streams on platforms like Pandora and SiriusXM could end up putting some money in Glitter's pocket after all.
Royalties from these streams are legally required to be distributed by the rights management organization SoundExchange. Representatives from the organization are keeping hush on whether or not Glitter is registered with them — though his name does not appear on the website's database of unregistered artists, meaning he very well may be registered to receive royalties via SoundExchange.
So, while Glitter will receive no royalties directly from Joker, he may still make money from the song's increased popularity due to the film's prevalence. To put that in perspective, in the first week following Joker's release, the offending song saw a 17 percent increase in programmed streams on the affected platforms.
Neither Phillips nor Joker star Joaquin Phoenix has commented on the film's association to Glitter. Phillips has, however, been very vocal in defending the film against its many other controversies.
Meanwhile, a source close to Warner Bros. Studios told Billboard there are no plans to remove "Rock and Roll Part 2" from the Joker soundtrack or future versions of the film. That said, the only official Joker OST currently available is of the movie's score.