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January 28, 2011  | by: Cynthia Almanzar

Kings of Leon

Glee creator Ryan Murphy doesn’t like his show getting rejected.  The producer is in the middle of a feud of epic proportions with Nashville band Kings of Leon.

The seeds for this feud were planted back in August when Kings of Leon rejected an offer to feature the band’s hit “Use Somebody” on Murphy’s show.  From there, the disagreement developed into a fight that led to Murphy calling the bands’ drummer, Nathan Followill, homophobic.

To better understand this, I had to go back to August 2010 when The New Musical Express (NME) posted an article where the band said they had turned down an offer to appear as themselves in an episode ABC’s defunct show Ugly Betty.

The reason for the rejection?  To avoid “selling out.”  The band confessed that they rejected an offer from Glee as well.  Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill said: “We could have sold out so much more. We turn stuff down constantly.”

Ryan Murphy

Flash forward to six months later: Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter that the boys were “self-centered assholes” for not allowing Glee to use their song.  Murphy also said the band 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,” Murphy said.

Just as lead singer Caleb Followill finished saying that the rejection wasn’t meant as slap in the face to Glee, drummer Nathan Followill did what many artists do these days: he logged in to his Twitter account and ran his mouth — or his keyboard.  Followill tweeted: “Dear Ryan Murphy, let it go.  See a therapist, get a manicure, buy a new bra.  Zip your lip and focus on educating seven year-olds how to say fuck.”

This comment outraged Murphy, who told Perez Hilton that Nathan is homophobic and needs to get an education.  Followill quickly apologized, stating that he didn’t mean to offend and that his words were “misconstrued.” Nathan’s apology is nice and all, but it’s very likely that the one who ends up looking like an asshole — yeah, I said it — is him.

Let’s say it upfront: Murphy is being childish.  He’s acting like a kid that got his little feelings hurt.  He recently made some comments about Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash because, apparently, the guy doesn’t like the show.  That’s fair enough. If Slash doesn’t like the show that’s his prerogative.  Murphy should hush.

Who's the Biggest Loser?

On the other hand, Kings of Leon rejected the show to avoid “selling out,” whatever that means.  They make music for money. Don’t they realize that, for many people, they sold out the very moment they left their indie niche for commercial success?  As stupid as that may sound, it’s true.  If I got a dime for every time I heard someone say (or mostly write), “I used to like them, but there are so commercial now,”  I’d have at least…I don’t know, but I’d have a lot of money.  It annoys me when artists pull the “selling out” card.

Licensing a song for use on a show doesn’t mean they are selling their souls to the devil.  Would it kill them to get some publicity through the show?  That actually might be it. Do they want to get their fame thorough their own merits?  That’s noble.  If that’s the case, just say that.  It sounds better than saying: “We just said no to a license for a TV show, which we do a lot.”

Saying this makes the guys look self-centered and full of themselves, but this doesn’t make them assholes, necessarily.  I understand that Kings of Leon are free to do with their songs as they please, even though I understand Murphy’s sentiment.  Though I feel ambivalent about song licensing, I’m sure of one thing: Nathan Followill!  That comment was not nice.  YOU are an asshole.

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