In the wake of his federal criminal indictment, Donald Trump dropped a new video on Truth Social on Saturday. And it is cringey-as-hell. The two-minute spot, complete with gauzy, quasi-cinematic shots of the ex-president walking away from his helicopter like an action hero, is pretty standard messianic Trump fare.
But here’s the weirdest part, reported by Axios today: For its narration, the video steals a monologue performed by Matt Damon in “Air”, the new biographical film about the rise of Air Jordans and the Nike salesman who created them. The film was directed by Ben Affleck, stars Damon, and has absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump.
“You’re going to change the fucking world. But you know what, once they build you as high they possibly can, they’re going to tear you back down,” Damon’s voice is heard saying, as a shot of a stadium filled with Trump supporters morphs into an ABC news headline about the indictment.
I guess the trailer’s creators thought the speech would paint Trump as a dynamic underdog betrayed by the world, and not a man who has been found liable of sexual abuse; accused of inciting a riot to steal an election; and indicted on 37 felony charges.
As is the case for many things that have (allegedly) found their way into Trump’s possession, he had not sought permission. In a statement to Axios, Artists Equity, the production company run by Affleck and Damon, said they did not consent to Trump’s campaign using the dialogue. They added that they don’t “endorse or approve” of any footage or audio from “Air” being used in the former president’s campaign.
Swiping creative properties without permission is nothing new for Trump. From Adele to Neil Young, the GOP candidate’s team is notorious for using songs throughout his 2016 and 2020 presidential runs without the green light from artists.