Biden Campaign Pulls Ad Featuring Beastie Boys Song After Club Owner Harassed

A commercial for Joe Biden‘s presidential campaign, which used a Beastie Boys song and aired during Sunday’s NFL games, was taken down after the Michigan nightclub owner who featured in the ad was harassed by conservatives.

In a rare move, the Beastie Boys had allowed Biden’s presidential campaign to use “Sabotage,” a track from their 1994 album Ill Communication, for a campaign commercial.

The ad featured an interview with Joe Malcoun, the owner of The Blind Pig, a club in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which remains shuttered this year. The owner blamed President Donald Trump for his poor response during the coronavirus crisis.

“For 50 years, the Blind Pig has been open and crowded, but right now, it’s an empty room,” Malcoun says in the ad, explaining its devastating effects. “This is the reality of Trump’s Covid response.
We don’t know how much longer we can survive without any revenue. A lot of restaurants and bars that have been mainstays for years will not make it through this.”

However, the Biden campaign says it has taken down the ad in response to “doxxing” and ongoing threats against Malcoun.

“The price for having a voice in our political process cannot be endless harassment,” Biden spokesman Bill Russo said in a statement given to Variety. “And yet, that is what (Blind Pig co-owner) 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, the Trump campaign claims that the ad was removed due to embarrassment after misrepresenting the club owner as a struggling entrepreneur, when actually he is an “angel investor,” who received a sizable inheritance from his wife’s family.

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