AceShowbiz - Campaign officials for U.S. presidential hopeful Joe Biden have pulled an advertisement soundtracked by the Beastie Boys classic "Sabotage" after the bar owner featured was threatened by Donald Trump supporters.
The surviving members of the hip-hop pioneers granted a rare approval for the use of their 1994 hit, which played in the ad's background as Ann Arbor, Michigan businessman Joe Malcoun shared his struggle to keep The Blind Pig afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
The venue opened 50 years ago and has previously played host to the likes of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Nirvana, but with the uncertain economy, Malcoun faces the prospect of having to shutter the place for good - not long after purchasing the place - and he's blaming Trump's mishandling of the crisis for the gloomy outlook for his bar, and many other live music establishments across the U.S.
"This the reality of Trump's COVID response," he says in the footage. "We don't know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue... This is Donald Trump's economy: There is no plan and you don't know how to go forward. It makes me so angry. My only hope for my family and for this business and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election."
The commercial debuted on 18 October (20), but on Wednesday, it was removed from all of Biden's online channels after a string of nasty social media attacks on Malcoun, who was even threatened by members of Trump's right-wing fan base after he was found to have received a large inheritance from his wife's family, which critics argued could have been used to support the bar.
They also insisted Trump couldn't be blamed for the industry shutdown as he's been calling for state governors to allow all businesses to reopen, despite rising coronavirus cases.
"The price for having a voice in our political process cannot be endless harassment," declared Biden's campaign spokesperson Bill Russo. "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."
Meanwhile, representatives for Trump's re-election bid insisted the negative reactions to the promo were warranted. "In their desperation to pin something else on the President, they fabricated a story in a last-ditch effort to lie to voters because nothing else has worked - and they got caught," they claimed in a statement to Variety.
The ad controversy rages as Americans prepare to go to the polls on 3 November.