'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy offers apology to Kings of Leon; did Gwyneth fix it?


Image Credit: Insidefoto/PR Photos; Marion Curtis/Startraksphotos

Apparently "f--- you" means something different to Ryan Murphy than it does to most of us, because he has apologized for dissing Kings of Leon back in January, claiming “That’s not what [he]

meant” to say after they declined Glee use of the song “Use Somebody.”

“I didn’t speak with as much clarity as I would have liked,” Murphy explained. “Who am I to say, ‘F— you’? That’s not what I meant. I completely understand when artists don’t want a show or another artist to interpret their songs.”

Of course after throwing around the F-bomb and publicly calling a band “Self-centered a–holes,” it’s tricky going back on your words. That’s why it helps to have celebrity diplomat Gwyneth Paltrow working to ease the tension. The Academy Award-winning actress brokered peace between Glee’s co-creator and the Southern rockers via text messages back in February—so this apology isn’t new, it’s just Murphy’s public attempt to clear the air.

Further humbling himself, Murphy also admitted that avant-icon Björk recently turned down Glee as well—although she did consider their request. “She read the scene and didn’t think it was the right fit for her song,” Murphy said. “I told her, ‘That’s completely cool,’ and she said to come back to her down the road. We deal with that every day.”

So according to Murphy, there’s still a chance the Icelandic siren will pop up in Glee—all they have to do is get Michel Gondry to direct an episode and recast a gorilla as the town dentist instead of John Stamos.

What do you think of Murphy’s public apology? Is it too little, too late? Why do you think Kings of Leon refused Glee outright but Björk considered the request? Would you love to see KoL or Björk on Glee, or are you happy that not everyone is so eager to have their songs on the hit high school musical?

Read more on EW.com:
‘Glee’ creator Ryan Murphy to Kings of Leon: ‘F— You’

Kings of Leon turn down ‘Glee’

‘Glee’ and Darren Criss cover Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know': Hear it here

Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • KitKat

    Cause KOL aren’t f***ing sell-outs!!!!! €-;

    • Altec Lansing

      I guess better late than never.
      My issue isn’t only with the fact that he so blatantly and arrogantly told them “F–k you”, but that he said in not giving their song to the show it would not inspire kids.
      I mean, the fact that they are releasing amazing songs and albums is in and of itself an inspiration to all kids who aspire to be singers/songwriters. Glee is not the start all end all in the music business.
      Ryan actually hurt the show, not in ratings but in credibility. I hope he doesn’t do this kind of rant again. Ego can destroy a person.

      • Ace

        Not to mention the fact that the “seven-year-olds” Murphy mentioned in his KoL tirade have no business watching Glee in the first place.

      • MT

        I don’t see how he’s hurting the show. Everybody and their mum has done a cover of “Use somebody” . I can understand that KOL turning down Glee comes as a shocker.
        Anyway, there are plenty of fish in the sea and I’m still waiting for the Janet Jackson aka Ms Nasty tribute.

      • Sid

        Kings last album got a 3.6 on pitchfork dot com out of 10. Glee certainly couldn’t have hurt.

      • Firemen Frank

        I love him and his show and SeniorDateMatch was amazing

    • Color Me Impressed

      I think Ryan Murphy is the self-centered a**hole here.

      • Everyday American

        That doesn’t make KOL any better regardless. It’s not like anyone else could sing any of their songs worse than Caleb Followill.

        KOL = Most overrated band in the past two decades (maybe longer).

      • Fridge

        @Everyday American: Thank you! I thought I was the only one that didn’t think KOL was the second coming. My fiancee thinks they’re the greatest band ever, but his voice…OMG it makes me cringe after more than one song.

      • shan

        couldn’t agree more.

      • Tarc

        Actually, KOL were being snobby and impractical, and Ryan Murphy just said thing to the press that he shouldn’t have (and didn’t actually mean). So what? As Elton John said on a talk show recently, someone (anyone!) asking to cover your song is a COMPLIMENT.

      • @Tarc

        A compliment, yes, but one any artist has the right to decline. KoL are apparently choosy about who covers their songs. (They gave permission to The Sing-Off, and it was a fantastic performance.) I can’t blame them for wanting to have some control over how their songs are marketed and perceived.

      • Tarc

        I didn’t say they weren’t entitled to decline, but I don’t think hindsight will reveal that it was a smart or prudent move.

      • Color Me Impressed

        Alright @EverydayAmerican, I’m not saying KOL is the greatest thing ever, but they’re pretty d*mn good for a mainstream rock group. Who would you rather listen to, Rhianna?

      • ellie

        Maybe KOL are overrated, that’s not really the issue. The issue is whether a band has a right to decline a show from using their music, and whether the producer of said show should take it personally if they do. Ryan Murphy shouldn’t have made a big deal out of it. If a band doesn’t want them to use their music, so what?

    • Everyday American

      They’re not sell outs?! That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Not that I think there was anything ever worth selling out, but still…

      • Anya

        I agree with you there. I took their side on this whole argument, but they definitely sold out long before this Glee thing came along.

    • Kevin

      there songs were featured in movies and trailers for years before they became mainstream. Now that they are mainstream they are trying to act too cool for mainstream. Both parties came off as dbags in this arguement.

      • Jason S.

        THere’s a difference between having your song appear in a film and having it covered and watered down by Glee! If you don’t see the distinction I don’t know what to tell you! Protecting the image of your band is very inportant if you want to be a serious artist. You can’t just take every offer to put your song in every commercial! There is a thing called oversaturation and bands have to be careful of being overexposed! And why should a band feel obligated to make Ryan Murphy rich!!

    • Art

      Don’t really have to make a guess. They have said repeatedly that, at the time, they thought that “Use Somebody” was overexposed and they didn’t want it to pop up one more place. It wasn’t an indictment against the show, just a decision.

      • Ace

        That seems fair.

    • Tarc

      Well a couple years from now, they’ll be happy to ‘sell out’ when the coffer is dry. Of course, their are no shortage of non-music professioanls who seem to think keeping food on the table is ‘selling out’, so morons jabber as morons jabber – and mostly about think they know nothing about.

    • Soho

      What do Kings of Leon sell? I thought they were british. Whatever, there are tons and tons of songs out there for Glee to choose from.

      • rather bored

        Umm, no – they’re from the Tennessee area…

    • Zack

      They should get Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

    • Tom

      Poor Glee. I guess you are going to have to stick to Old MacDonald or something like that from now on. Sucks to be Glee.

    • Tom

      Cowell was right the other day. If people want to complain about mainstream music, put your money where your mouth is. Take your 1 million for each private concent you big guys perform and nurture your younger talent artists, otherwise it is what it is. Don’t give us these stupid excuses about file sharing as an for the lack of creativity in the music industry or people wanting to listen to mainstream music.

    • Will J

      “Use Somebody” and all of “Come around Sundown” is the defiintion of selling the f*** out.

    • Sid

      The kings of leon’s last cd got a 3.6 out of 10 on Pitchfork dot com. Glee certainly wouldn’t have hurt them as much as their album cover did.

  • Rusty

    Man, Ryan Murphy is really good at creating pointless high school dramas.

    • Ian

      Given Murphy’s penchant for being an over-dramatic diva anytime someone says no, expect the list of people saying NO to get longer and longer. Dave Grohl and Slash both called him out, and they carry far more weight in music than Murphy’s little lip-synching soap opera full of bad covers of bad “songs” by untalented hacks like Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Maybe he should look at the musical quality of his show when trying to figure out why real musicians want no part of it.

      • Everyday American

        Dave Grohl and Slash are legends, and cool people to boot. KOL are nothing but overrated wannabes. I honestly cannot believe the hype behind that band. I’ve even seen them live, and it’s mind blowing the kind of backing this band gets.

      • Alice

        That’s what I thought- that Murphy’s rep for publicly trashing anyone who wouldn’t appear on Glee may have led to him perhaps not getting a song or two that he wanted. I haven’t watched the show since he accused KOL of hating music education. I don’t even like KOL, but I really don’t like bullies, and that’s what he’s become. Maybe this is him trying to convince people he’s not.

      • Tarc

        As the article noted, there have been plenty of people that have not approved a song for Glee, and alsmost zero were a problem (no matter the reason). This is another press trumped up situation.

    • Art

      Rusty… great comment

    • Tarc

      Murphy didn;t create the issue: the press did. Keep in mind the motovation of the people that make you watch the ads on their site for cash…

      • stella

        Of COURSE Murphy created the issue. He gave the interview to the Hollywood Reporter for its “Glee special”. He knew what he said was going to print. He’s an adult, he has the option of controlling which words he spews out. Had he not given the rant there would not be anything for the press to exploit.

      • Anya

        Murphy really did create this issue. He was giving an interview. There is no one you can blame for his words there but him.

  • UGH

    Awful show, medicore band.

    • Tarc

      Good show, great writing. KOL is a mediocre band, with occasioanlll great writing. they seem to be a pretty good match to me.

      • ally

        how can u say its great writing? is that a joke? they manipulate the characters and the story to fit around whatever song they feel like using, which half the time is the same song u can hear on the radio every ten minutes. i really used to like glee but its ridiculous the storyline changes every time they want a certain song to be on, it just gets annoying. and glee has butchered many good songs so im kinda glad kol turned them down

  • jets

    Agh! It’s been my dream for Glee to cover a Bjork song! That sucks so much that she turned them down. A better proposition: Bjork guesting on Glee as a eccentric substitute teacher who sings Pixies songs. :) …but in more seriousness, I really hope Bjork on Glee can still happen. ‘All is full of love’ would be so pretty, or’Alarm Call’ or anything! …also, it’d help Bjork’s career as well. It kills that it came so close to happening.

    • crispy

      That’s your dream? Wow. Way to dream big.

      • jets

        haha… it would be big for me tho… haha so close too.

      • crispy

        I don’t know, I think Bjork is a little too quirky for Glee.

      • Ian

        Just listen to Bjork instead. If you like her at all, why would you want to hear someone else doing her songs on a soap-opera? Cut out the pointless middle man, and go to the actual musician for the music, rather than to some cut-rate mass-retailer like Glee-Mart.

      • Tarc

        Some of the greatest songs in history are covers. If you don’t like Glee, so what? It doesn’t mean that some of their songs aren’t amazing (because some are). And regardless, the original artist invariably makes some cash. It’s win-win.

  • Jennifer

    Personally I’m glad there are some artists who prefer not to have their songs used for television/film purposes, or who allow such use only rarely. There’s nothing wrong with letting Glee and other such shows and films use your music if you want, but there’s also nothing wrong with refusing. It’s the artists’ music – it’s their choice.

    • Ricardo

      A voice of reason! What are you doing on an internet forum?

  • Alice

    Do you even read the articles you link to? Quoted from the first link KoL said “This whole Glee thing is a shock to us,” he told The Reporter. “It’s gotten out of hand. At the time of the request, we hadn’t even seen the show. It came at the end of that record cycle, and we were over promoting [“Use Somebody”]. This was never meant as a slap in the face to Glee or to music education or to fans of the show. We’re not sure where the anger is coming from.”
    It seems pretty clear why they turned it down, they were busy on the road and didn’t have time to dig into something.

  • Pie Thrower

    I’m sick of Glee. Can someone assisinate Glee, please?

    • Other Mel

      Agreed. Great pilot, sloppy series. I’m over these kids.

      • Tarc

        Then feel free not to watch, and not to post in articles about glee. Or does that upset your hypocrisy? If you’re over it, then go away.

  • J

    Someone needs to tell Glee: Come back down the road when you’ve learned to use less auto-tune.

    • Ian

      Musically, they’re appealing to the lowest common denominator amongst pop fans. These fans aren’t gonna care any more about Glee using autotune any more than they’ll ever care about pop stars using autotune or pro tools to sound good or lip synching at concerts. They don’t care about the music at all, their heroes are 99.9% image, and .01% musical talent.

      • Kevin

        Ian, I think the song “Loser Like Me” may have been written in your honor.

      • J

        It’s so sad, especially since most of the Glee kids *can* sing. What annoys me even more is the highly unnecessary auto-tune sheen on the Warblers’ tracks. I mean, these are tracks sung by the Bubs and produced by Ed Boyer. They don’t need more production on top of all that.

      • Ian

        Due tell, Kevin. I gave reasons for my opinion. You didn’t. Therefore, your opinion means nothing to me. I’ve worked within the music business for years, have you? Do you have any type of background that will make me care what you think of music, or is Glee as far as you’ve dug into the history of music and music production?

      • @Ian

        “Loser Like Me” is one of Glee’s original songs, and I think if you look it up you will see what kevin meant.

      • Tarc

        LOL! I see you don’t really work in the music industry at all. No one there would put up with such a jerk. If you actully were in the bix, you’d have a much better historical perspective…

      • Ian

        Because I didn’t know one of Glee’s originals, I couldn’t possibly be in the music biz??? Yeah, suuuuuure, lol

    • Tarc

      There is a lot less autotune going on then the haters jabber on about. And, to be real here, there is more autotune in general top 100 music than on Glee…

      • Blame Leno!

        EXACTLY! I found it pompous and ridiculous. Too much autotune? I don’t think the fully understand the extent that autotune is used these days. Most popular music today has some “gloss” to it. Even indie music, neosoul. Sit and a studio during a recording and watch what’s done with even the most talented artist. Glee is not doing anything different than what’s being done. *sigh* I find it tiring. It’s autotune has become the buzzword for those who want to pretend as if they have any clue what they are talking about.

      • Ian

        and the top 100 is generally disposable garbage, so what’s your point?

  • WhoCares

    WHO CARES!!! People get told FU every day! Is that news? Get some tougher skin and move on! I have.

  • kaydevo

    Too little, too late, to be considered sincere. And as it wasn’t the only time or artists he acted so jerky to, I’m sure arm-twisting was involved. Someone less egotistical realized Ryan was endangering Glee’s ability to get some of the artists’ music they might want to use by cussing out other musicians. And without covers to sing, the show is in big trouble. Ryan just needs to understand that he and the show aren’t as important (or as good) as he thinks they are. And play nice.

  • Beth

    Well, I suppose it’s something, but Mr. Murphy still needs a dose of reality and humble pie.

  • The Dolt

    I like the idea of Bjork playing a substitute teacher. But I’m holding out hope that she’ll appear on Lost when it comes back. When is that coming back, EW? Do your jobs!

  • Justin

    When someone offers to do your music, regardless of how well it’s done, it’s a form of flattery. These bands and artists take themselves entirely too seriously. You’re writing a song, not saving starving children in Africa. Get over yourselves. I’m not saying Glee is anything great, but Kings of Leon, Bjork and any other artist who doesn’t allow their music to be played on Glee, or any other show for that matter, have a misplaced sense of importance.

    • Ian

      So if another network decided to do a show exactly like Glee, using the same dialogue, same scripts, and same songs, only at a level of quality that they find questionable, the creators of Glee and Fox, will be flattered and won’t take umbrage to it? Sorry, Justin, but you sound like someone who has never created anything that you cared about. There’s a reason why musicians will be displeased by hearing bad versions of their songs, or hear them used in a context they don’t approve of. Your idea that they should allow their music to be used on ANY show is dumb. What if someone you found morally reprehensible wanted to use your song on their show, creating the illusion that you are approving of their message, when in fact you despise it? Why not let the people created the music decide where and how it’s heard?

      • Kevin

        wow, anyone else see the effort this guy has made here??? Hate is the biggest waste of time Ian

      • Lisa Simpson

        Kevin, Ian is right. The artist controls the music, and imitation is not always flattery, especially when it’s badly done.

      • MikeB

        What is someone you find morally aprehensible buys your music and wants to tell the whole world s/he loves it. Once you put your music out for public consumption, you have opened yourself up. If you are one of those artists who belive your music is your own then why bother getting a recording contract at all. Why sell it at all. I can understand not wanting to let someone do your music, but in the end it gives you the opportunity to speak your piece. If you don’t like Idol or Glee then when they use their songs, speak out against them. Say why you don’t like them and be honest with your opinion of the quality.

      • Ian

        Mike, your argument makes no sense. If a musician doesn’t like Glee or Idol, they won’t let them use their music. Why would you sell out to them, and then trash them after you benefit from them? No one will respect you for that. Slash and Grohl didn’t have to let Glee use their music in order to speak out against the bully tactics Murphy uses towards artists who have said no. They spoke out against them without first selling out to him. Not sure if you know how the system works, but there is a huge difference between allowing people to buy copies of your work and maybe publicly saying they enjoy your work, since no one can stop someone from doing that any more than they can stop someone from publicly criticizing it) and allowing them to incorporate your work into their own projects for their financial gain. Musicians sign recording contracts so they can have their music released to be listened to by fans and so they can earn a living. That’s not the same as letting American Idol or Glee use it for their own gain. You make no sense in your argument whatsoever.

      • Ian

        @ Kevin, the only thing I’m hating here is the bullying ways of Murphy, and the dumbing down of the music industry (by people in television or corporations owning labels) to make a buck off of the lowest common denominator.

      • Tarc

        Yeah, Ian, and Elton John just called you a giant liar on late night the other day. I’m listening to the legend that makes sense, not the liar that doesn’t.

      • Ian

        Elton John mentioned me on Late Night? Why? Would have been cooler if it was someone who didn’t work for Disney or play at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding had done it…

      • Ian

        No idea what Elton John said, but if you mean he said that Glee or Idol can use a piece of music without the permission of the owner of the publishing rights, then he’s wrong. Some artists don’t have control of the publishing rights, so they wouldn’t have a choice if the owner said yes to licensing it. The Stones, for example, don’t own the publishing rights to nearly everything they recorded prior to 1971, so it’s been used countless times without their consent. They’ll get songwriting royalties and all for it, but ABKCO owns the publishing. Similar to Sony controlling much of the Beatles’ publishing rights. A lot goes on with ASCAP, BMI, publishers, and such.

    • Jackson

      You know who else isn’t saving starving kids in Africa and has misplaced sense of importance? Ryan Murphy.
      You don’t know what certain songs mean to certain artists – not bands/singers are simply handed a tune when they walk into the recording studio to crap out their next record, some slave over the sound and lyrics and stuff a song with themes that mean a lot to them. If I wrote a song that really meant something to me, I don’t know I want to hear a bunch of auto-tuned 20 year olds butcher it over a montage of slushies being thrown around.

    • @Justin

      Dude, seriously. KoL has had their songs used in commercials, and movies for years. They do not have an overinflated sense of importance…they just got caught at the wrong time by the request and declined. It’s their right as songwriters.
      As for Bjork, same thing there. Her music has been used on TV and film before, she just didn’t think her song fit into the theme of the scene/episode. Reasonable, sound thought and consideration, not ego.

  • Michael

    Uch, by this time next year FOX will have on 9 hours of Karaoke a week. Consider the horse beaten to death.

  • Bren

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t let everyone who wants to borrow something of mine borrow it. I think about where it’s going and what’s going to happen to it and whether I’ll get it back in the same condition or possibly ever. Why should a musician be any less diligent about his songs than I am about loaning out dvds or clothes to a friend? To call someone out for that is just ridiculous. Your stuff is your stuff. While it is nice to share, you don’t have to share everything with everyone just because THEY happen to want it.

    • davey

      Great point!

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