The Pogues Frontman Rejects Claim His Band’s Christmas Song ‘Fairytale of New York’ Includes Gay Slurs

NEW YORK - MARCH 13: The Pogues perform at Roseland Ballroom on March 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
JOSHUA CAPLAN

The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan responded to criticism regarding the band’s Christmas song “Fairytale of New York,” dismissing allegations that anti-gay slur included in the 1987 ballad was intended to offend.

MacGowan said in a statement published by Irish Times that the term “cheap lousy faggot” was used by the song’s character, Kirsty MacColl, because it “fitted with the way she would speak,” noting the “she is not supposed to be a nice person, or even a wholesome person.”

“Her dialogue is as accurate as I could make it but she is not intended to offend!” the Pogues singer continued.

McGowan concluded his statement by revealing that he is in favor of censoring the track: “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.”

Criticism over the term erupted this week after Irish DJ Eoghan McDermott called for the song to be censored when played.

“I asked the two gay members of my team how they feel, since faggot is their N word. If people want to slur the gay community, this is their most powerful weapon,” McDermott wrote on Twitter. “One favours censoring, the other outright not playing it. Neither like it. Simples.”

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