Donald Trump Asked to Stop Using 'Air Force One' Music for Campaign (Exclusive)

Donald Trump RNC Speech 5 - H 2016
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The producer of the Harrison Ford thriller says the Republican presidential nominee is using deceased composer Jerry Goldsmith’s music without permission and wants him to stop.

The producer of the 1997 thriller Air Force One is demanding that Donald Trump stop using the film’s score at campaign events.

Producer Gail Katz on Monday told The Hollywood Reporter that Trump never asked the filmmakers for permission to use the score. She has written a letter to the Republican nominee’s campaign requesting that it stop playing the score at future events.

Trump has been broadcasting the Air Force One theme for months at campaign rallies around the country. The most recent, and high profile, use of the score occurred on July 20 when it accompanied Trump’s dramatic arrival via helicopter at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“The music for Air Force One was composed and conducted by the legendary Oscar-winning film composer Jerry Goldsmith,” writes Katz in the letter. “Jerry’s music was hijacked in a misguided attempt to associate Trump with the film and the President in that film.”

Before his death at age 75, Goldsmith was one of the most admired and prolific composers in the film music world, with over five decades of film and TV work to his credit. He received a total of 18 Oscar nominations, with one win for the score to 1976’s The Omen. His other credits include the original Planet of the Apes (1968), Roman Polanski’s classic Chinatown (1974), Ridley Scott’s Alien and Disney’s Mulan, for which he would receive his last Oscar nomination in 1999.

Veteran film music agent Richard Kraft, who represented Goldsmith for 15 years prior to his death in 2004, says the composer would not be pleased with his music being appropriated by Trump.

“From everything I know about Jerry Goldsmith's political views, he would have been extremely unhappy with Trump co-opting his art to sell his image,” Kraft tells THR. “Goldsmith composed music to underscore a make-believe, heroic president in [Air Force One], not to help create a phony soundtrack for Trump. He would have been appalled to have his music selling a product he would greatly dislike."

This isn't the first time Trump's choice of music has come under fire. Multiple songwriters and recording artists have asked the Trump campaign to stop playing their music, including The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Adele, Aerosmith and R.E.M.

Says Katz, “The main point is that, similar to the plane in Air Force One, the music has been hijacked and we want it back.”

The Trump campaign did not immediate reply to a request for comment.

Here is the content of Katz’s letter in its entirety:

July 25, 2016

To: Donald J.Trump’s presidential campaign
Re: Usage of the theme from AIR FORCE ONE

Last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump staged a publicity event by landing his helicopter in Cleveland to the powerful, heroic theme from the film Air Force One starring Harrison Ford.

The music for Air Force One was composed and conducted by the legendary Oscar-winning film composer Jerry Goldsmith. Jerry’s music was hijacked in a misguided attempt to associate Trump with the film and the President in that film. The Wall Street Journal recently identified Harrison Ford's portrayal of the President in Air Force One as the #1 fictional President in film or television.

At no point were the filmmakers contacted to ask for permission to use Jerry’s music for the Republican campaign. We sincerely hope that Donald Trump and the Republicans do not use the Air Force One score in the future. It is a misappropriation of the music and the good will of the film, and we want to make sure that it does not imply any endorsement of the Republican ticket by the filmmakers.  

The Trump campaign's misappropriation of songs and music over the repeated objections of authors and performers is just one more reason why on November 8 the American voters will send a clear message to Donald Trump – “Stay off our plane!”

Gail Katz