The Pogues' Shane MacGowan Responds to Controversy over Homophobic Slur in "Fairytale of New York"
"The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character"
Published Dec 09, 2018This week, controversy erupted over the Pogues' beloved 1987 Christmas song "Fairytale of New York," and its use of a homophobic slur. Now, the band's leader Shane MacGowan has responded to the matter.
In a statement made to Virgin Media TV [via the Irish Times], he explained that the song was written with a character in mind: "The word was used by the character because it fitted with the way she would speak and with her character. She is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person."
He further added, "Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend!"
McGowan finished by saying that he supports censoring the song: "If people don't understand that I was trying to accurately portray the character as authentically as possible then I am absolutely fine with them bleeping the word but I don't want to get into an argument."
Read the full statement from McGowan below.
Kirsty MacColl, the singer who delivered the line in question, passed away in 2000.