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Beastie Boys Deny Arnold Schwarzenegger Use of 'Sabotage'

Mike D turned down "a lot of money" to respect MCA's wishes

June 2, 2014 2:50 PM ET
Mike D  Beastie Boys
Mike D of the Beastie Boys
John Lamparski/WireImage

Arnold Schwarzenegger's film Sabotage quietly hit movie theaters in March, racking up negative reviews and $10 million at the U.S. box office – half its $35 million budget – before limping out of multiplexes. In most cases of box office bombs, you can blame a poor marketing strategy for the film's failure. In the case of Sabotage, you can probably blame the Beastie Boys. Mike D and Ad-Rock turned down "a lot of money" to let Sabotage use the Ill Communication hit "Sabotage" in its promotional materials in order to honor Adam "MCA" Yauch's request that the group never lend their music in commercials or ad campaigns.

Girl Talk Toasts the Beastie Boys' 'Ill Communication'

The Schwarzenegger revelation came straight from Mike D during testimony in the Beasties' $1 million lawsuit against Monster Energy Drinks, the New York Daily News reports. Monster is alleged to have used the group's music in their promo "Ruckus in the Rockies" without permission. Speaking of Sabotage's offer, Mike D testified, "It felt like too much of an endorsement. We weren’t fans of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s recent work." Mike D added that while the Beasties could have used Arnold's money -- “We have not been able to tour since MCA died. We can’t make new music.” – they're respecting Yauch's wishes regarding the use of the catalog.

Last year, Mike D and Ad-Rock sued toymakers GoldieBlox after the company used a rendition of the Beasties' "Girls" in a promotional video; the case was settled in March 2014. While the surviving Beasties supported GoldieBlox's girl-empowering message, they still filed a lawsuit just to show there would be no flexibility when it came to using the Beastie Boys music in ads. The money GoldieBox paid in the settlement was given to charities that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls.

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