The Beastie Boys announced their decision to allow their song, “Sabotage” for a Biden and Harris Presidential Campaign ad. Unfortunately the ad was pulled due to the featured club owner receiving harassment from President Trump supporters just days after debuting on October 18, 2020 This is the first time the band has ever allowed one of their songs to be used for a presidential ad. The ad focuses on how COVID-19 is detrimentally affecting the live entertainment industry.
The Beastie Boys have sued Monster Energy and GoldieBox in the past for using their songs without permission in their ads. The only things they have allowed is the use of “Sabotage” in trailers for “Star Trek” and the “Destiny 2” video game.
The Beastie Boys are a hip hop and rap group from New York City that formed back in 1978 under the original name Young Aborigines before becoming the Beastie Boys in 1981. Some of their most well known songs include “Sabotage,” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Fight for Your Right” and many many more. Their debut album, Licensed to Ill, was the first rap record to top the Billboard 200 chart. They have eight studio albums and have become a household name throughout the years and recently released a documentary “Beastie Boys Story Out Now” on April 14, 2020.
The Ad focuses on the venue the Blind Pig that is a club Ann Arbor, Michigan that has been extremely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The venue was shut down after its 50 years of existence where it was a substantiation part of its community. It’s owner in the ad speaks about how he considers Donald Trump’s shortsighted response to the coronavirus crisis is one of the main reasons his venue is in such poor shape.
A spokesperson from the Biden campaign according to the Variety article explained that, “the Beastie Boys, who had ‘never licensed music for an ad until now,’ agreed to the use of “Sabotage” in the spot ‘because of the importance of the election.’”
The Ad was pulled on Wednesday October 21, 2020 after the owner of the Blind Pig received threats and was attacked by Trump supporters. Campaign spokesperson Bill Russo expanded on the situation saying, “The price for having a voice in our political process cannot be endless harassment. And yet, that is what Joe Malcoun and his family currently face as he was doxxed, harassed and threatened after the Trump campaign has sought to smear a community leader who dared to speak out against Trump’s failed response to the Covid crisis. It is shameful,” according to The New York Times article.
*Article Updated on October 23, 2020*