The Village People are responsible for classic hits such as “Macho Man” and “Y.M.C.A.,” which have both been played over loudspeakers for rallies in support of US President Donald Trump in recent years. The band’s leader Victor Willis however, has recently called on Trump to stop using “Macho Man” during his rallies, due to Trump’s controversial statements regarding calling troops to quiet down unrest during the Black Lives Matter protests.
Willis never really endorsed Trump or any political party, and thought of the group’s music as being universal, which is why he did not ban the candidate from using the songs during his rallies. He also explained that he didn’t endorse the use of their songs during their rallies, stating that he preferred them to be apolitical.
“Since our music is not being used for a specific endorsement, the President’s use is ‘perfect (ly) ‘legal'” he wrote in a statement according to Stereogum. “Like millions of Village People fans worldwide, the President and his supporters have shown a genuine like for our music. 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.”
Trump’s threats of violence have caused outrage across the entire political spectrum, with notable Republicans including former US Secretary of Defense, condemning the decision. Willis asserted that this decision could cause the people to forcibly oust the president, before asking Trump to stop using their music.
“If Trump orders the U.S. military to fire on his own citizens (on U.S. soil), Americans will rise up in such numbers outside of the White House that he might be forced out of office prior to the election. Don’t do it Mr. President!” Willis explained in a Facebook post. “And I ask that you no longer use any of my music at your rallies especially “Y.M.C.A.” and “Macho Man.” Sorry, but I can no longer look the other way.”
Willis regained the rights to the band back in 2012, which may give him some authority regarding the song’s use at rallies. The band are still active and held a public performance at Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey last December.
Check out his full statement here: