Lou Reed passed away in 2013. At least he’s not here to witness one of his best songs become the newest thing campus snowflakes have deemed problematic.

Students at the University of Guelph in Canada played “Walk on the Wild Side” at a campus event and were ultimately forced to apologize.

Dave Huber reports at The College Fix:

Student group issues apology after playing Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’

This is where we are: A student group at the University of Guelph in Canada has apologized for including the Lou Reed song “Walk on the Wild Side” on a playlist at a campus event.

Because, don’t you know, the tune contains “transphobic lyrics.”

The 45-year-old song is probably Reed’s biggest hit and describes, according to The Telegraph, a “number of individuals [he] knew from frequenting Andy Warhol’s Factory – among them transgender ‘Superstars’ Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling.”

Here’s a sample:

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.

Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.

Plucked her eyebrows on the way.

Shaved her legs and then he was a she.

She says, ‘Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.’

The Guelph Central Student Association wrote “We now know the lyrics to this song are hurtful to our friends in the trans community and we’d like to unreservedly apologize for this error in judgement.”

Here’s more from the groveling apology:

“We have committed as an organization to be more mindful in our music selection during any events we hold. We will be meeting to discuss how we can create better playlists in the future.

“If there are students or members of the campus community who overheard the song in our playlist and were hurt by its inclusion and you’d like to talk with us about it and how we can do better, we welcome that.” …

In a further statement a spokesperson said: “The lyrics, ‘and then he was a she,’ devalues the experiences and identities of trans folks.

If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the song, it describes the New York scene of which Reed was a part. It also mentions real people who were friends of Reed. Here’s the tune:

Many of Reed’s colleagues have come to his defense.

Edward Helmore writes at The Guardian:

Lou Reed’s friends dismiss claim that Walk on the Wild Side is transphobic

Friends of the late Lou Reed responded on Saturday with disbelief to a claim by a Canadian student body that the singer’s 1972 hit Walk on the Wild Side contains transphobic lyrics.

“I don’t know if Lou would be cracking up about this or crying because it’s just too stupid,” the singer’s longtime producer, Hal Willner, told the Guardian. “The song was a love song to all the people he knew and to New York City by a man who supported the community and the city his whole life.”…

The lyrics in question focus on Reed’s friends from Andy Warhol’s Factory, among them transgender “superstars” Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling.

“Holly came from Miami, FLA,” Reed sings. “Hitchhiked her way across the USA/ Plucked her eyebrows on the way/ Shaved her legs and then he was a she/ She says, ‘Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.’”

Last word on this goes to Iowahawk:

Featured image via YouTube.


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