Tom Petty’s family decried Donald Trump’s use of “I Won’t Back Down” at his Tulsa rally Saturday, sending a cease-and-desist notice to the president’s campaign.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” Petty’s estate and rights holders — daughters Adria and Annakim, ex-wife Jane and widow Dana — said in a statement soon after Trump’s Oklahoma rally.
“Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
Twenty years ago, during the 2000 presidential election, Petty issued a cease-and-desist notice over George W. Bush rallies playing “I Won’t Back Down” on the campaign trail; a similar issue arose in 2011, when Michelle Bachmann’s use of “American Girl” at rallies was met with a cease-and-desist letter.
The Petty estate continued Saturday, “Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for EVERYONE. We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.”
Trump has not commented on the cease-and-desist notice on social media.
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) June 21, 2020