The hip-hop group confirmed it would be "moving forward without Flavor Flav" after the longtime hypeman slammed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and former bandmate Chuck D, claiming that the campaign is using his old group's name for an endorsement he didn't sign off on.
"Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav," the group said in a statement Sunday, provided to USA TODAY by Jolyn Matsumuro, a spokewoman for Chuck D and Public Enemy. "We thank him for his years of service and wish him well."
The statement noted that Public Enemy Radio, made up of Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws, would perform as planned at a Sanders rally Sunday evening in Los Angeles, featuring celebrity appearances by "Sarah Silverman and Dick Van Dyke with a special performance by Public Enemy Radio."
Flavor Flav expressed disappointment with Chuck D's decision to break up the group "and fracture the movement more than three decades in the making" in a statement provided to USA TODAY by his lawyer, Matthew H. Friedman of Ford & Friedman.
"Flav reached out in the interest of unity, supporting Chuck's right to speak his mind but without unnecessarily misleading the public. Unfortunately, for the time being, Chuck has opted to fire off an increasingly unhinged series of tweets, including one where Chuck regards Flav as property (a car) he can park until he is ready to use him again," the statement reads. "Chuck may own the name Public Enemy but all you had to do was look at the masses of clock-wearing fans pouring out of the rally ... to know that there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav."
Flavor Flav co-created the band Public Enemy in 1985; Chuck D is the only remaining founding member.
In a cease-and-desist letter sent Friday to the Sanders campaign and shared with USA TODAY by Friedman, Flavor Flav argued that language is "deceptive marketing."
"While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit – his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy," the letter reads. "The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy."
Chuck D explained in a series of tweets Sunday why he decided to back Sanders and what he thought of Flavor Flav's reaction.