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Glee Creator Takes on Kings of Leon

Posted on January 26th, 2011

Glee creator Ryan Murphy might base his entire show on the concept of anti-bullying but if you look at his comments towards certain artists recently, it’s tough not to call out the mega-producer for being a bully himself.

Back in August, rockers Kings of Leon turned down an offer from Glee to use their songs for an episode. This decision has now prompted Murphy to lash out at the group. “F— you, Kings of Leon,” Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter. Hey, play nice Ryan. It didn’t stop there. Murphy called legendary guitarist Slash “uneducated and stupid” for saying no to Glee. He also continued to malign KOL and talk about his show like it’s the Jesus Christ of television.

“They’re self-centered a–holes, and they missed the big picture. They missed that a 7-year-old kid can see someone close to their age singing a Kings of Leon song, which will maybe make them want to join a glee club or pick up a musical instrument. It’s like, OK, hate on arts education. You can make fun of Glee all you want, but at its heart, what we really do is turn kids on to music.”

Sure, Glee has made singing at school a little cooler. And sure, a lot more people under the age of 40 know that Journey song now. But, it’s not saving the world. And to say that Kings of Leon are hating on arts education because they wouldn’t give you the rights to “Use Somebody” so Finn and Rachel could use its lyrics as a metaphor for their annoying relationship is just ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Glee. I think it’s filling the void of musicals on television and the characters are great. Kurt’s storyline, while excessive at points, is definitely something a lot of kids can relate to. But, I understand why some artists wouldn’t want their songs covered by the cast. I understand why Eminem, as Murphy told THR, charged $200, 000 to use “Lose Yourself.” It’s their art. They need to protect it. Selling rights to songs for thousands is nothing new. Artists turn down requests from television shows all the time. Get over yourself Ryan Murphy.

KOL responded to Murphy’s comments with a sentiment of utter confusion.

“This whole Glee thing is a shock to us,” lead singer Caleb Followill said. “It’s gotten out of hand. At the time of the request, we hadn’t even seen the show. It came at the end of that record cycle, and we were over promoting ['Use Somebody']. This was never meant as a slap in the face to ‘Glee’ or to music education or to fans of the show. We’re not sure where the anger is coming from. We just said no to a license for a TV show, which we do a lot.”” Point, Kings of Leon.

UPDATE: Caleb’s brother Nathan Followill, KOL’s drummer, has completed negated the fact that the band took the high road with Caleb’s statement. Nathan just tweeted this: “Dear Ryan Murphy, let it go. See a therapist, get a manicure, buy a new bra. Zip your lip and focus on educating 7yr olds how to say fuck.” Ouch. Well, at least both parties are getting in touch with their inner teenagers. And now, it’s a draw.

- Kathleen
New.Music.Live. Team


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