The estate of late rocker Tom Petty said it was “exploring all of our legal options” after failed Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake used his 1989 anthem “I Won’t Back Down” in a video this week.
“The Tom Petty estate and our partners were shocked to find out that Tom’s song ‘I Won’t Back Down’ was stolen and used without permission or a license to promote Kari Lake’s failed campaign,” the estate wrote on Twitter late Thursday.
Watch Lake’s video here:
“This is illegal,” it added. “We are exploring all of our legal options to stop this unauthorized use and to prohibit future misappropriations of Tom’s beloved anthem. Thank you to all of the fans who brought this to our attention and who help us protect his legacy every day.”
Former local news anchor Lake lost the race for governor of Arizona to Democratic rival Katie Hobbs. But, so far, she has refused to concede. Instead, Lake has taken pages from Donald Trump’s playbook by questioning the result and baselessly suggesting voter fraud.
Trump endorsed Lake and she has been one of the most high-profile promoters of his 2020 election conspiracy theories.
The estate of Petty, who died of an accidental drug overdose aged 66 in 2017, released a similarly scathing response when then-President Trump used the same song during his underwhelming June 2020 return to the campaign trail in Tulsa, Oklahoma, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the estate said.
“Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind,” it continued. “Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He likes to bring people together.”
“We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideas of either,” Petty’s estate added. “We would hate for fans who have been marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.”