Fourteen Californian lifeguards were fired performing a “Gangnam Style” parody at an El Monte city pool. The YouTube spoof was meant as a funny spoof, but their management was less than thrilled, firing them, as well as their manager.
The “Gagnam Style” video by Korean pop star PSY has taken the internet world by storm, with several people posting videos of themselves doing PSY’s signature dance move, notes NBC Los Angeles. Unlike the other videos, the El Monte lifeguards saw repercussions for their actions.
The video was intended to be a nice way to show friends their summer fun working at the San Gabriel Valley acuatic center, but the employees were fired on Wednesday after the video was posted to YouTube. Gabriel Gonzalez, a lifeguard supervisor who was one of 14 staffers fired, stated that:
“They just said the entire video was inappropriate and disgusting.”
Alexander Huerta, who has worked as an instructor guard at the pool for seven years, stated of the firings that:
“I strongly believe that the termination … was unjust, over exaggerated, and could have been handled more effectively.”
El Monte refused to comment on the termination of the lifeguards and one pool manager, but the city did say that all of the employees signed an acknowledgement that they would not use city property (including their swimsuit uniforms) for “private use or benefit.” A statement from El Monte read:
“There was a clear unauthorized use of city resources and property, including the use of city-issued uniforms during the making of this unauthorized video. The City maintains that it holds all employees to a higher standard.”
The New York Daily News notes that the video has more than 100,000 view now, and the lifeguards have created a Facebook page called “Bring back the 14 El Monte Lifeguards,” which protests their termination.
The lifeguards are inviting their supporters to attend an El Monte city council meeting on September 18 at 7 pm, in order to protest their firing. One supporter wrote on their Facebook page, which has over 2,000 likes, that:
“So sorry. We seem to have mostly lost our sense of humor and ability to have fun while at work. Cannot believe you were fired for this video … You should all get your jobs back!”
Check out the video below to see what the California lifeguards were fired for: