(WYMT) - Two miners featured in an Amy McGrath Senate campaign attack ad against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent McGrath's campaign a cease and desist letter to stop their images from being used in the ad.
The miners, Randy Robbins and Albrow Hall, are members of the Letcher County chapter of the Black Lung Association.
The two joined other members on a trip to the nation's capital earlier this summer to raise awareness about the black lung disease and the challenges faced by them and other miners who suffer from it.
Robbins and Hall said during their trip, they received a warm reception from a number of elected representatives, including McConnell.
Sen. McConnell then met with the group.
In the letter, the pair said they were contacted weeks later to participate in the filming of a reenactment of the bus trip.
The letter said Robbins and Hall were led to believe that the reenactment was for a documentary relating to the work of the Black Lung Association.
The pair did not know and were never told they were being filmed for a political advertisement, the letter said.
When Robbins and Hall saw their images featured in the McGrath campaign's "10 Hours Bus Ride" attack ad, they were shocked and outraged, the letter said.
The letter said both did not and do not consent to the use of their images in the campaign video.
Robbins and Hall also said they do not believe that black lung is a partisan political issue. Both believe that both political parties are working to address the needs of coal miners with black lung disease.
The letter said it is simply wrong for the McGrath campaign to use individual miners suffering from black lung disease as political pawns without their permission or consent.
The letter also said Kentucky courts recognize a common law right of privacy/publicity that encompasses claims for the misappropriation of an individual's likeness.
The letter gives the McGrath Campaign until the close of the business day Friday to inform Robbins and Hall of removing their images from the attack ad.
If not, the letter said Robbins and Hall reserve the rights to pursue any and all legal remedies available to them.
Here is the full letter below,