Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. “Joker.”
The rights holders to music by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter have reportedly said that the disgraced former glam rock star will not receive any royalties after one of his songs was featured in the box-office hit “Joker.”
The contentious inclusion of “Rock and Roll Part 2” in the R-rated comic book film had sparked an intense backlash from moviegoers, with many concerned about the prospect of Glitter receiving lucrative music royalties.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was jailed for a total of 16 years in 2015 for attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault and one count of having sex with a girl under 13. All six offenses were committed in the 1970s and 1980s. He was first jailed in 1999 when he admitted to possessing images of child abuse.
Speaking to the LA Times in an interview published Friday, the label Snapper Music, which owns Glitter’s songs, said that the 75-year old “does not get paid — we’ve had no contact with him.”
In the same report, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) also said it was not paying music royalties to Glitter.
“Gary Glitter’s publishing interest in the copyright of his songs is owned by UMPG and other parties, therefore UMPG does not pay him any royalties or other considerations,” the LA Times reported, citing a representative from the publishing group.
In the U.S., rights to the songwriting of “Rock and Roll Part 2” belong to UMPG, which represents Glitter, and BMG, which represents Mike Leander.
The 1972 hit was co-written by Glitter and Leander. It plays for approximately two minutes as Joaquin Phoenix, who has received rave reviews for his portrayal of the eponymous villain in the movie, dances down a long flight of steps.
Snapper Music and UMPG were not immediately available for comment when contacted independently by CNBC on Tuesday.
“Joker” smashed box-office records in its opening weekend earlier this month, with Warner Bros. hauling in $93.5 million in the U.S. alone. It marked the highest debut for a film released in October in cinematic history.
The film, directed by Todd Phillips, has reportedly earned nearly $550 million worldwide in two weeks.