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Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Decry Trump Campaign’s Unsanctioned Use Of ‘Air’ Monologue

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's production company Artists Equity issued a statement not approving the use of content from Air.

On Saturday, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s production company Artists Equity issued a statement denouncing the unapproved utilization of a monologue from their recent film “Air” in a newly shared campaign video by former President Donald Trump.

Then-outgoing US President Donald Trump and then-US First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One as they arrive at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, on January 20, 2021. – President Trump and the First Lady travel to their Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images) 

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the production company said that it didn’t approve of the use of movie music in the Trump video ad

“We had no foreknowledge of, did not consent to, and do not endorse or approve any footage or audio from Air being re-purposed by the Trump campaign as a political advertisement or for any other use,” Artists Equity said in a statement.

The nearly two-and-a-half-minute Trump campaign clip is entirely based on a critical monologue from the film, as reported by the outlet. 

“Specifically in terms of any & all rights available to us under U.S. copyright and intellectual property law, we hereby, expressly give notice that in the case of any use of material from Air by the Trump campaign where approval or consent is required, we do not grant such consent,” the production house added in the statement. 

The clip shows Trump approaching the camera with his helicopter in the background; Damon’s voice can be heard saying, “Money can grant you almost anything, but it cannot grant you immortality.” 

The Trump campaign also utilized this scene to request donations from its supporters.

Damon portrays Sonny Vaccaro, while Affleck takes on the role of Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the film. It showcases Vaccaro’s persuasive efforts in convincing Jordan, played by Damian Young, to sign a contract with Nike and the subsequent creation of the iconic Air Jordan shoe line.

“Money can buy you almost anything,” Damon says in the video, as images of Trump come and go. “It can’t buy you immortality; that you have to earn.”

The movie also features actress Viola Davis, portraying Jordan’s mother. Davis’s inclusion in the film was a crucial request made by Jordan himself.

During a recent interview on The Drew Barrymore Show” to promote the two’s new film “Air,” Affleck revealed that he and Damon shared a bank account to jumpstart their acting careers.

When the two sold the script for their Oscar-winning film “Good Will Hunting,” Affleck said he felt at the time that he would “never have to work again.” 

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond

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