Joe Biden pulls campaign ad featuring embattled music venue after owner receives threats

A member of Biden's campaign team called the response "shameful"

An advertisement for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign which featured a struggling music venue has been pulled from broadcast, after the venue’s owner reportedly began receiving threats.

The ad called Donald Trump’s COVID-19 response into question, demonstrating the impact the pandemic has had on the live entertainment industry. It was notable for being the first time the Beastie Boys had licensed a song for inclusion in an ad, with ‘Sabotage’ soundtracking the video alongside Pixies, the Breeders and more.

The Detroit Metro Times reports that Joe Malcoun, the owner of Michigan venue the Blind Pig, received threats after his appearance in the advertisement.


“For 50 years, the Blind Pig has been opened and crowded. But right now it’s an empty room,” Malcoun said in the ad, which premiered during an NFL game on Sunday (October 18).

“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.”

The Detroit Metro Times reports that the advertisement attracted the ire of Trump supporters due to Malcoun’s alleged financial stability.

Malcoun has reportedly earned significant wealth through investing in the financial sector, using money he inherited following the death of a relative.

Bill Russo, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign, told The New York Times in a statement that Mr. Malcoun was “doxxed, harassed and threatened” following the advertisement.


“The Trump campaign has sought to smear a community leader who dared to speak out against Trump’s failed response to the coronavirus crisis. It is shameful,” he added.