Public Enemy Fires Flavor Flav
The hypeman sent a cease-and-desist to the Sanders campaign over a "Fight the Power" poster
After more than 35 years with legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy, hypeman Flavor Flav has been dismissed by the group just two days after he sent Bernie Sanders a cease-and-desist letter over a “Fight the Power” poster promoting the candidate’s March 1 rally in Los Angeles.
The poster promoted the performance of Public Enemy Radio, which consists of Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws at the rally. The cease-and-desist letter from Flav’s lawyer Matthew Friedman accused Sanders of using his “unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock” despite the fact that Flavor Flav “has not endorsed any political candidate.”
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” the letter added. “The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is. There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”
Chuck D’s lawyer issued a response to that notion, writing, “From a legal standpoint, Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark. He originally drew the logo himself in the mid-80s, is also the creative visionary and the group’s primary songwriter, having written Flavor’s most memorable lines.”
In a short statement about Flav’s dismissal, the group said, “Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
While, from an outsider’s perspective at least, this would appear to be mostly related to the Sanders spat, Chuck D took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to clarify that “my last straw was long ago,” writing, “It’s not about BERNIE with Flav…he don’t know the difference between Barry Sanders or Bernie Sanders, he don’t know either. FLAV refused to support Sankofa after Harry Belafonte inducted us. He don’t do that.” (Sankofa is Belafonte’s grassroots organization that aims to “focus on issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the underserved.”)
… last final note the last final note was my last straw was long ago. It’s not about BERNIE with Flav… he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don’t know either. FLAV refused to support @Sankofa after @harrybelafonte inducted us. He don’t do that pic.twitter.com/5Ky9dTnzmd
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 1, 2020
“I built Enemy Radio to get far away from that ridiculousness,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
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