Anyone who remotely follows pop culture and entertainment headlines is probably aware of certain nasty remarks floating back and forth between Glee creator Ryan Murphy and various artists over the past couple months. The big culprits are the Foo Fighters, Slash, and especially the Kings of Leon. But are these artists picking on Glee or is it the other way around? Upon closer examination, Murphy’s actions make him seem like he might just be a bit oversensitive.
Starting with the most recent dispute, David Grohl’s outburst against Glee comes off as over the top and unwarranted. “It’s every band’s right, you shouldn’t have to do fucking ‘Glee’¦ Fuck that guy for thinking anybody and everybody should want to do ‘Glee,’ said Grohl to The Hollywood Reporter. Looking back further, however, Slash’s and KOL’s actions are well within reason. Well, at least at first. The worst thing that Slash has said about Glee is that it’s “worse than ‘Grease.'” And KOL simply turned down Murphy, who wanted to use “Use Somebody” in an episode, saying that they had never seen the show. Murphy took the rejection personally and responded in THR with “Fuck you, Kings of Leon. They’re self-centered assholes, 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.” KOL singer Caleb Followill then calmly responded with a rational explanation of why they chose not work with Murphy and Glee. End of story, at least until Caleb’s brother Nathan made some unfortunate remarks on Twitter.
Overall, Murphy acted childish and brought most of this backlash upon himself. Calling out the Kings of Leon publicly for not wanting to be featured on Glee is one thing, but insulting them personally is just unnecessary. Additionally, claiming that Glee is all about helping kids and encouraging music education would be more effective if he didn’t open with the F-bomb. Not only does it set a bad example, but it is antagonistic and provokes a negative response from the band. That being said, David Grohl and Nathan Followill showed little restraint in this petty debate. Personally attacking Murphy, while possibly satisfying, is equally as childish and actually weakens the point they were trying to make in the first place.