Despite Village People Changing Their Tune, Trump Rally Features 'Macho Man'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday September 15, 2020

Despite Village People Changing Their Tune, Trump Rally Features 'Macho Man'

The Village People have joined the ranks of musical acts seeking to stop President Trump from using their music on the campaign trail. But as recently as Sept. 12, the Trump campaign was still playing their hit gay anthem "Macho Man" during a rally in Nevada, reports The Mercury News.

The group, which dates from the '70s post-Stonewall heyday of gay sexual liberation, had responded earlier this year to fans demanding that they prevent the president from using their work following an appearance by Trump in India, where the group's iconic hit "Macho Man" was played.

As reported at the time, the Village People responded by saying that Trump had not used their music "in a manner that would suggest our endorsement, or in a promotional advertisement, that would cross the line," and added that "the President and his supporters have shown a genuine like for our music."


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

Saying that they did "not endorse" the president playing their music at rallies, the Village People nevertheless said that Trump's use of their music was " 'perfect[ly]' legal."

But that stance changed when the president sent out a tweet in June blasting protests against police violence following the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis last May. Trump declared, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," and that so offended Village People founding member Victor Willis that Willis took to Facebook to ask that Trump refrain from playing the group's music at his events in the future, "especially 'Y.M.C.A.' and 'Macho Man.' "

If Trump orders the U.S. military to fire on his own citizens (on U.S. soil), Americans will rise up in such numbers...Posted by Victor Willis on Friday, June 5, 2020

Added Willis: "Sorry, but I can no longer look the other way."

The Mercury News noted that in seeking to prevent the group's music from being used at Trump's events, he joins a roster of musical acts including "Neil Young, the estate of Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, and the estate of Leonard Cohen," all of whom have made similar requests that have also not been honored.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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