WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Following Trump’s use of Village People’s 1978 track “Macho Man” at Monday’s rally in India, the disco group was “inundated” with requests to ban the president from using their music.
- Several people noted that “Macho Man” is a song widely considered a gay anthem, and that Trump’s use of it is inappropriate given his administration’s track record on LGBTQ rights.
- But Village People maintained that their music is all-inclusive and that Trump’s use is legal as long as it doesn’t suggest that the group endorses him.
Village People, the American disco group behind the hits “YMCA”, “Macho Man”, and “In the Navy”, was reportedly “inundated” with requests to ban President Donald Trump from using their music.
Trump has been playing Village People’s 1978 track “Macho Man” at rallies since at least 2018. But it caught the most attention when it was played as he entered a rally in Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, on Monday.
Several people noted the irony of Trump entering to “Macho Man”, a song that is widely considered a gay anthem, given his administration’s track record on LGBTQ rights.
The Village People, especially, is rooted in gay culture. For instance, the group’s name refers to New York City’s Greenwich Village, which was known for its large gay population during its formation.
But the group gave the go-ahead for Trump to play their songs at events.
The group stated in a Facebook post on Monday: “Since our music is not being used for a specific endorsement, the President’s use is ‘perfect[ly]’ legal.”
TO OUR FANS:We have received numerous requests demanding that we prevent or ban President Donald Trump’s use of our…Posted by Village People on Monday, February 24, 2020
One person tweeted, “I do relish the fact that in India, Trump appeared to the Village People doing Macho Man. Because, y’know, he’s such a gay icon.”
Several policy measures proposed or enacted under the Trump administration have been criticized as anti-LGBTQ. Among these is the president’s controversial transgender military policy, which blocks transgender personnel from serving openly and denies them access to gender-affirming medical care.
Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ civil rights group, recently reported that a third of over 50 circuit court judges nominated by Trump have a “demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ bias.”
Nevertheless, Village People explained that Trump has “remained respectful” in his use of its songs and “has not crossed a line” or suggested the group endorse him.
“Our music is all-inclusive and certainly everyone is entitled to do the YMCA dance, regardless of their political affiliation. Having said that, we certainly don’t endorse his use as we’d prefer our music be kept out of politics,” the group clarified.
The group’s decision deviates from that of several other artists, including Adele, Aerosmith, Queen, R.E.M., and Rihanna, who have demanded that the president not play their music at rallies.