Taraji P. Henson’s action movie “Proud Mary” hits theaters this weekend, but it turns out not everyone is too thrilled about it. John Fogerty, the legendary American rock singer and songwriter, has released a statement in which he expresses frustration with Henson’s new film for “capitalizing” off his song “for financial gain.” Fogerty’s 1969 single “Proud Mary,” which he recorded with his band Creedence Clearwater Revival, is one of his most famous tracks.
“My songs are special to me. Precious,” Fogerty wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”
Fogerty explains that “Proud Mary” was written as “a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life” and has nothing to do with “a story about killing people for money,” referring to the Henson film.
“No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of Proud Mary,” Fogerty wrote. “The movie poster has my lyrics changed to read….’killing for the Man every night and day.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment relied heavily on Fogarty’s song in the marketing for “Proud Mary,” not only in the tagline but also in the official trailer that was released last July. The entire two-minute-and-ninteen-second promo is built around Fogarty’s song. The trailer even cuts to match the beats of Fogarty’s chorus. Since its debut, the trailer has earned over 2 million views on YouTube.
Fogerty admits he knows nothing else about the film besides the fact that the marketing has used his song and that the film features “a black woman who is also an assassin.” You can read the musician’s full statement about “Proud Mary” in the post below.