In case you missed it, Sufjan Stevens wrote a song called “Tonya Harding” about the figure skater that he was hoping could be used in the Harding biopic I, Tonya. The song didn’t make the movie or its soundtrack, but Stevens still released it in December, as a standalone track through Asthmatic Kitty. Now it turns out that the song’s subject doesn’t exactly approve of the tune.
In a new profile in the New York Times, Taffy Brodesser-Akner writes that during her conversations with Harding, she brought the song up, and Harding didn’t seem that happy that the song exists:
“I told her about the essays I’d read about how we should have been kinder and protected her back then. She doesn’t want to hear it. What do we know about her? We never asked. She doesn’t want anything to do with Sufjan Stevens’ lovely song about her. Did he call her first to talk to her? Did any of those people writing their defenses of her call her up and ask if they could make money using her name? No! ‘Who gives these people permission to use my name?'”