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M83 Express ‘Horror’ at Their Song Appearing in French Right-Wing Political Ad

Hannah Johnston, Getty Images

Apparently, clueless politicians using musicians’ songs without their consent is not just an American phenomenon. A member of the French right-wing party Le Front National used M83‘s ‘Midnight City’ in an online video, leading the band to speak out against the unauthorized use.

M83’s Anthony Gonzalez posted a message on Facebook in French that translates as:

To my horror, I discovered that the Front National have been using ‘Midnight City’ in one of their campaign videos. They are doing this without my permission, and I am appalled at their lack of artistic respect. At the very least, artists should be asked if they agree, or disagree, with being associated with a certain image or brand. Even the most commerce-minded advertising agencies and brands do so.

In general, the music of M83 is apolitical, and I refuse to be associated with any party, and particularly the Front National…

Pitchfork notes that the video was actually created independently by a politician affiliated with the Front National Party and not the party itself. M83’s French record label placed a copyright claim and had the video pulled from the web.

The controversy calls to mind a number of similar cases in American politics, where artists objected to politicians using their music without consent. In just the past few years, Heart protested Sarah Palin’s use of ‘Barracuda,’ Tom Petty refused to allow Michele Bachmann to use ‘American Girl,’ and Survivor objected to Newt Gingrich’s use of ‘Eye of the Tiger.’

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