Mike Huckabee Has To Pay $25,000 For Playing “Eye Of The Tiger” At A Rally
Who could ever forget that fateful day in September when then-Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee forever ruined Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger when he played it at a rally for homophobic Kentucky County clerk Kim Davis? As it turns out, the song was spoiled more for Survivor too, who claimed to be “gobsmacked” by Huckabee’s use of the song, and the artist’s recording company, Rude Music, has since confidentially agreed to a $25,000 settlement with Huckabee for playing Eye of the Tiger without permission.
As a refresher, Davis became something of a martyr among those opposed to marriage equality when she was briefly jailed for defying a U.S. federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples last August. Conservative politicians claimed this somehow violated Davis’ right to freedom of religion, as if the government were forcing her to hold onto a job that her conscience didn’t allow her to do properly.
It’s interesting how the right to freedom of religion suddenly becomes relevant when it comes to denying gay people rights, since it never seemed relevant when, prior to June 2015, gay couples across the country were denied the right to marriage because of interpretations of a few lines in the Christian Bible. But to the point, before suspending his presidential campaign rooted in a brand of Christian fundamentalism so extreme as to be darkly comical, Huckabee hosted a rally in Davis’ honor — but he never paid for the rights to play the song.
Rude Music proceeded to sue Huckabee, and both parties eventually determined a settlement of $25,000, $12,500 of which Huckabee paid in May and was listed as “itemized disbursement,” and the other $12,500 paid in June, listed as “debts and obligations.”
In court, Huckabee tried to argue that the homophobic rally was a “religious assembly … signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis” from jail, according to CNN, as songs can be played noncommercially at religious events. Of course, this fell through when the songwriter’s lawyer reminded Huckabee that he had identified the rally as a presidential campaign expense at the time.
In a sad last-ditch effort to avoid paying the settlement, Huckabee is currently petitioning the Federal Election Commission to allow him to start a separate legal defense fund to pay it off, but in response, the FEC has issued a draft opinion essentially telling Huckabee to pay the costs himself.
I have to admit that for all his grossly transphobic comments, slut-shaming, and general bullshit on everything pertaining to abortion rights, I was kind of hoping Huckabee would fade to irrelevance following the embarrassing implosion of his presidential campaign. But at least in this situation, it sure is nice to hear from him again.