Sydney band Youth Group have issued a statement confirming that they did not endorse nor give permission to 2GB radio shock jock Ray Hadley who used their enduring song Forever Young this week to parody and ridicule Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
“Today we became aware of a parody version of ‘Forever Young’ denigrating Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. We wish to make the following clear,” write the band in their statement. “1. This is not our version of the song being used and the music track is a re-recording. 2. We do not endorse it.”
As Fairfax report, while interviewing Immigration Minister Peter Dutton this week on air, Hadley played the two-minute “parody” song, which was set to the tune of Forever Young. The song contains a number of lyrics about Hanson-Young, including calling her a “a half-wit”, “the worst ever”, “not clever” and “quite mad”.
According to Fairfax the song was first played on Hadley’s show in February 2014 and has been played numerous times since. It also features on the Ray Hadley Parody Jukebox.
“The use of this version during Ray Hadley’s interview with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on radio station 2GB yesterday does not reflect our view,” continue Youth Group in their statement. “That an individual has chosen to appropriate the song in such a way saddens us.”
“We’re honoured that our version has come to be held dear to many across Australia through its use in so many celebrations and commemorations of loved and lost ones, and in marking the passing of time at schools and social clubs across the country. We believe that it has come to mean something quite different, and diametrically opposed, to the ugliness that marks the parody version played by Ray Hadley.
We hope that for the many people who have strong feelings about the song, and a place for it in their hearts about a time, place or person, that this ugliness won’t taint those memories.”
The Greens deputy leader Senator Larissa Waters has accused both Ray Hadley and Peter Dutton, who last week called Senator Hanson-Young an “embarrassment to the country”, of being involved in “sexist claptrap”.
“Unfortunately this sort of pathetic attack on a young woman doing her job exceedingly well in the Parliament just demonstrates what a problem with sexism we still have in the Parliament and sadly in the nation more broadly,” Ms Waters said.
Adds Youth Group, “For the record, we would like to express our support for Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young. We’re all for a respectful and inclusive Australia, not a divisive and disrespectful one.”