This week’s verbal tussle between Ryan Murphy and Kings of Leon should qualify as 2011’s biggest embarrassment so far for both sides. Round two unofficially began a day or two ago when Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill responded (via Twitter, naturally) to Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s public dressing down of the band, who refused to let Murphy feature it’s hit “Use Somebody” in an episode of the show.
“Dear Ryan Murphy, let it go. See a therpaist, get a manicure, buy a new bra. Zip your lip and focus on educating 7yr olds how to say fuck.”
Followill must have realized how his comments might be construed because he soon tweeted an apology to anyone who interpreted what he said as being misogynistic or homophobic. Come on now, Nathan. In what universe, is there anything misogynistic or homophobic in those words? They’re not particularly funny or clever, but if someone advised me to buy a bra, I’d worry that he or she might be implying that I’m fat and have man boobs before assuming that it’s about my sexuality.
And considering what Murphy had previously told The Hollywood Reporter about Kings of Leon — it began with “F**k you, Kings of Leon,” before further damning them with the tag “self-centered assholes” — Followill’s response could have been so much worse. Eminem’s would have been. (The $200,000 licensing price tag of his “Lose Yourself” proved way too expensive for Glee — which pretty much equals a snub in my book since if Eminem loved the show as much as Murphy seems to think everyone should, he would have lowered his rate — but Murphy didn’t have anything to say about that. Intimidated much?)
Frankly, Murphy needs to take a deep breath and bring his ego down a few notches. His comments — which unfortunately echo Neil Patrick Harris’s calling The Young and the Restless star Eric Braeden a “D-Bag” after the soap icon bailed out of a How I Met Your Mother cameo recently — reflect badly on both him and the show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other musicians are wary of letting him use their music in the future, especially since he implied that Slash is not only a has-been but also “uneducated and stupid” for daring to criticize Glee.
But the most ridiculous part of Murphy’s rant is when he claimed that by letting its music be used in Glee, Kings of Leon would allow 7 year olds to see someone close to their age singing one of the band’s songs, perhaps inspiring them to join a glee club or pick up an instrument. Aren’t the members of Kings of Leon around the same age as most of the Glee cast? There are glee clubs for 7 year olds? I’m all for getting kids interested in the arts — which I refuse to believe is Murphy’s prime motivation anyway — but I don’t think that it should necessarily be via a song with lyrics like “Countless lovers under cover of the street/You know that I could use somebody/You know that I could use somebody/Someone like you.”
Whatever happened to those sweet, wholesome animated Disney musicals featuring more age-appropriate tunes? I can think of better ways to get a 7 year old hooked on music than through Kings of Leon, or for that matter, Glee, a show that’s only targeted to them when it suits Murphy. Though he certainly can teach kids a lot about getting rich when they grow up, hopefully, they won’t be learning any language skills, or how to deal with rejection from him either.