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Lara Trump’s new single, a cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” has been censored on a Times Square billboard — with the billboard company refusing to print her name on the cover art to promote the song.
The company, TSX Entertainment, suggested that they could put “Lara,” but omit “Trump” in the text of the billboard — citing the word “Trump” as an “issue” — according to emails obtained by Breitbart News.
A photo of the cover art for the single showed up in Times Square Friday, without any text — neither her name, nor the name of the song.
“[Producer LJ Fino] called me and told me this, and I was like, ‘Hell no, I’m not okay with just Lara. My name is Lara Trump and I’m proud of that,’” Trump, who is married to Donald Trump’s son Eric, told Breitbart News of the incident. “The billboard just went live with just the picture, not even the title of the song.”
“This is the same billboard company, by the way, who was happy to host Black Lives Matter advertising, Planned Parenthood advertising, teachers’ union advertising, but I’m too political with a cover song,” she continued.
Producer at First Class Records, LJ Fino, told Breitbart News the action represents “a clear attempt to stifle and limit the expression of free speech, the bedrock of music,” adding that TSX Entertainment’s political bias is “digging their own grave.”
“I am deeply concerned about the decision by TSX Entertainment to exclude Lara’s last name from her billboard,” Fino told Breitbart News. “This is a clear attempt to stifle and limit the expression of free speech, the bedrock of music. It’s crucial that entertainment corporations leave political bias out of their decision making process; otherwise, I believe they are digging their own grave.”
A representative from TSX Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
The billboard ran Friday to Saturday and was never corrected.
“I just find the whole thing not only insulting, but discriminatory in its nature,” Trump told Breitbart News. “I think that it’s pretty clear that the bias TSX Entertainment has is against anyone who considers themselves conservative, based on their track record. They were happy to have these other billboards advertised up there which are overtly political, but yeah, my cover of a song that is a classic, that people know and love, somehow became problematic for them, simply because of my last name.”
Trump and Fino also shared a message with Breitbart News from a representative of Billboard Magazine, who said that Amazon is reporting sales of Trump’s song using different metrics than what is standard.
“Amazon is reporting sales with the UPC (standard barcode) rather than the ISRC, the record’s ‘social security number,’ which is needed for sales to count toward Billboard Charting eligibility,” the message explained.
Apple Music was suppressing visibility of the song on its release day Friday, according to a report in the Daily Mail that included a screenshot of Apple’s search function, where the song cannot be found in “top results” for a query of the exact name of the song.
“When you search for I Won’t Back Down on Apple Music, Lara’s rendition of the song does not come up in the results,” the Daily Mail reported. “And when you click on Lara’s name, the tune only appears below eight others [sic] songs – including parody tracks like a fake rap battle between her father-in-law and Hillary Clinton and a song called Fake News II.”
“In addition, when you type in the track name on Spotify, it’s not listed in the results, and it’s only accessible when you search for her full name,” the Daily Mail adds.
“I’m just trying to — honestly, life is hard enough, let’s bring some joy and let’s have some fun. I got to play piano and sing a song, which I never thought I was going to do, and I’m really proud of it, and it’s really a shame that everybody has to turn everything political, because it shouldn’t be that way,” Trump told Breitbart News.
Emma-Jo Morris is the Politics Editor at Breitbart News. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.