“Proud Mary” Songwriter John Fogerty Slanders Taraji P. Henson Movie For Using Song Title
“This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it.”
Empire star Taraji P. Henson is getting ready to hit the box office hard with her movie, Proud Mary, which opens in theaters today (Jan. 12). But before she does, a certain John Fogerty wants it to be known that he is not happy and will not be in the audience attending.
The rock ‘n roll singer-songwriter, who wrote “Proud Mary” and of which the movie takes its name, penned a scathing rebuke of the movie and its attempt to “capitalize on the popularity of his song”. Keep in mind that Fogerty has not seen the movie at all and that his ire comes from seeing lyrics changed from “working for the man every night and day” to “killing for the man every night and day” on the movie’s poster.
“My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain,” Fogerty said in a released statement. “Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses… This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it.”
Well, now you know how Big Mama Thornton feels, John.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s representative said he has no plans to enact legal action, he will just remain pissed about using the song title and makes it clear that if the filmmakers had asked him for usage, he would have declined.
Read John Fogerty’s full statement below, disregard his offenses because we are going to support Taraji P. Henson and check out Proud Mary which is in theaters now:
“There is a movie in current release called ‘Proud Mary.’ I don’t know much about it other than this. The main character is a black woman who is also an assassin. And apparently, her name is Mary. I wrote the song ‘Proud Mary’ 50 years ago, and I was very excited to have written such a good song. In fact, it was my very first good song. My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses. This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song.
They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it. Back in the day, I had decided that I needed to become more professional, more organized about my songwriting efforts. I bought a little notebook and after few days, I wrote down the words. Proud Mary. It was the very first entry in this book. At first, I didn’t even know what those words meant. No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of ‘Proud Mary.’
The movie poster has my lyrics changed to read…. ‘killing for the Man every night and day.’ I wrote the song about a mythical riverboat, cruising on a mythical river, in a mythical time. Perhaps, the setting was ‘back in time’ on the Mississippi River. It was obviously a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life.
Far from a story about killing people for money.”