ANOHNI Refused $200k from Facebook to License Music, Cites Their Complicity in Fake News

“I didn’t want to be complicit in Facebook’s hosting of fake news which might enable the re-election of Donald Trump.”

By Bubba Krishnamurti

ANOHNI has divulged the details of turning down a Facebook offer of $200,000 to license her music in a commercial for the tech giant.

The artist is well known for her frequent cover of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and made a mark with live performance of the song early in her career. ANOHNI has recently revealed details about June 2020 offer by advertising agency Droga5, on behalf of Facebook, for licensing a live version of the cover from 2001.

ANOHNI refused the offer and promptly went into the studio to record her version of the Gaynor tune in a studio setting. She later published the recording on her social channels last week and released a statement elaborating on what happened and her reasons for spurning the big money offer.

“Although I really could have used the money, I said no because I didn’t want to be complicit in Facebook’s hosting of fake news which might enable the re-election of Donald Trump,” ANOHNI wrote. “They wrote back saying that they were placating other participants’ concerns by making donations to their charities of choice, in addition to paying them. I woke up the next morning and realized this isn’t even advertising; this is politics, and i don’t even know how deep this water is. This company Droga5 worked with Obama and Google and others. I had to walk away.”

Several months later, ANOHNI caught the Facebook advertisement which had another artist attempting to approximate her rendition of the song. “It was a nauseating feeling” ANOHNI bemoaned.

Read her full statement below:

“In June, Facebook offered me 200,000$ to license an old live version (2001) of me singing “I Will Survive” for an advertisement that represented Facebook as an advocate for small businesses. Although I really could have used the money, I said no because I didn’t want to be complicit in Facebook’s hosting of fake news which might enable the re-election of Donald Trump. They wrote back saying that they were placating other participants’ concerns by making donations to their charities of choice, in addition to paying them. I woke up the next morning and realized this isn’t even advertising; this is politics, and i don’t even know how deep this water is. This company Droga5 worked with Obama and Google and others. I had to walk away.

A month later I saw the ad. Facebook had hired another singer to emulate my version of the song.
It was a nauseating feeling.

We all know that Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and others now seem to be destroying our lives, our minds, our jobs, our cultures, and our societies’ ability to govern themselves.

We as artists were the first ones to be led to the stall to begin feeding, and being drained by, companies including Apple and Facebook.

And now as artists, we should be the first to leave. We must show that it is possible to live without Instagram, without Facebook, without Google and Amazon. We must endeavor to rebuild our lives and our communities, our private conversations, in ways that don’t rely on manipulatiThve infrastructures and interfaces provided by the world’s richest corporations.

After the Facebook debacle, I felt compelled to complete my studio version of “I Will Survive”. It was the first song I ever sang in nightclubs in NYC when I was 20 years old. I sang it hundreds of times. In those days I sang it thinking of Marsha P. Johnson and the underground queer community struggling to survive in the face of AIDS. Now it seems to me like an anthem for the future of life on earth.

Obviously, Youtube is owned by Google. I haven’t closed all my accounts. But I want to talk to you about this; I want to be a part of this conversation.”

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