Trump Campaign Faces Legal Action After Playing ‘YMCA’ At Election Rallies Without Permission

President Donald Trump dances to the song YMCA after speaking at a rally on October 26, 2020 in Lititz, Pennsylvania
Mark Makela / Getty Images

The record label that represents pop band The Village People will take legal action against Donald Trump’s election campaign team after they used the song “YMCA” at rallies in the lead up to the 2020 election.

According to the Independent, the use of “YMCA” was unauthorized and lawyers will put forward a formal complaint following the Republican candidate’s use of the song.

Clips of Trump dancing to “YMCA” have gone viral on social media in recent weeks but rights holders to the song, who include Paris-based label Scorpio Music, believe “misappropriation” has taken place over Trump’s use of the hit.

In response to the Trump campaign’s use of the track, lawyer Richard Malka said action would “be the subject of a complaint in the next few days, both in France and in the United States, against any initiator or accomplice of what constitutes outright theft of the property of others.”

The French record label was founded in 1976 by Henri Belolo, who was also a co-founder of The Village People. Belolo co-wrote “YMCA” along with Jacques Morali and the group’s lead singer, Victor Willis.

Victor Willis, Angel Morales, Chad Freeman, Sonny Earl, J.J. Lippol, James Kwong of Village People at go90 + Streamys After Party at Poppy on September 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California
  Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Willis previously said the group did not endorse Trump and asked the campaign to stop playing “YMCA” as part of their build-up to the election. Speaking to BBC recently, Willis complained about the president’s ability to perform the dance that is typically partnered with the track and, putting politics aside, he was glad “YMCA” was well received in the U.S.

“Donald Trump does what Donald Trump does, I’ve never seen him actually put his hands up and make the Y-M-C-A. He’s changed it to M-A-G-A or something. Democrat or Republican, they all like YMCA, and that is something that’s very pleasing to me,” he said.

“YMCA” became a popular hit in both the U.S. and the U.K. in the 1970s and ’80s, and The Village People rose to fame with other hits like “In the Navy” and “Macho Man.” The group also became a cultural icon for the international gay community at the time.

The 2020 presidential election has not concluded and votes are still being counted in key swing states that will determine the outcome. In recent days, Trump has been criticized for outbursts and his claims of illegitimate voting procedures. The Inquisitr reported that the president’s niece spoke out about her uncle’s isolation and how he is likely experiencing fits of “uncontrollable rage” in response to the results.