Fox’s musical show Glee has featured some high-profile pop songs, but not everyone wants in on the action. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl commented on series creator Ryan Murphy in a recent interview, citing the producer’s public complaints against bands who refuse to license their music to the show.
Grohl spoke to The Hollywood Reporter after the Foo Fighters denied Fox the rights to create a Glee episode with the band’s music. “It’s every band’s right, you shouldn’t have to do f—ing Glee,” said the rock star. The Foo Fighters join rock legends Guns ‘n’ Roses and alt rockers Kings of Leon, who also declined to license songs for Glee.
Grohl took particular offense at Murphy’s reaction to other bands’ refusals, saying:
“[Murphy] is so offended that we’re not, like, begging to be on his f—ing show… f— that guy for thinking anybody and everybody should want to do Glee… Slash was the first one. He wanted to do Guns ‘n’ Roses and Slash is like, ‘I hate f—ing musicals. It’s worse than Grease.’ Then [Murphy's] like, ‘Well, of course he’d say that, he’s a washed up ol’ rock star, that’s what they f—ing do.’ And then Kings of Leon say, ‘No, we don’t want to be on your show.’ And then he’s like, ‘Snotty little assholes…’ And it’s just like, Dude, maybe not everyone loves Glee. Me included.”
Murphy’s public spats with the previous bands made headlines in the world of both music and TV. After Kings of Leon turned the show down earlier this year, Murphy accused the band of disrespecting Glee fans and arts education in general. He had similar things to say of Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash, calling his comments “uneducated and quite stupid.”
Glee has kept fans entertained in the last two years with special tribute songs and episodes, including adaptations of music from Britney Spears, Madonna, Journey, Lady Gaga and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Most musicians have been pleased with the high school-themed song and dance numbers.
The response from Ryan Murphy over bands refusing to allow their music on Glee seems unjustly vitriolic. As Grohl said, the show and its format isn’t for everyone, and musicians have the right to control portrayals of their work. While the backlash from Guns ‘n’ Roses and Foo Fighters is pretty much par for the course for rock stars, the hostility from the creator of a show aimed at such a wide audience is disappointing.
Despite the negative publicity and a recent small dip in ratings, Glee continues to dominate viewership in the crucial 18-49 demographic. this Tuesday’s episode had 11.2 million viewers, and the post-Superbowl tribute to Michael Jasckson’s Thriller netted an astonishing 26.8 million. Glee won 2 Golden Globe awards this year including best televised comedy or musical.
Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 PM on Fox.