Village People send ‘cease and desist’ letter to Trump over use of Macho Man song
Legendary US disco group the Village People have reportedly sent Donald Trump a legal letter after a video emerged of him dancing to one of their hit songs.
The footage shows the former president enjoying a live tribute performance of Macho Man while at a poolside dinner party at Mar-a-Lago.
The 76-year-old, who wants to return to the White House in 2024, has regularly used the group’s songs, particularly Macho Man, in his campaign rallies.
But, according to US media reports, the Village People’s manager has now written a cease and desist letter to the former president to insist the group did not play the event and that it was an “unauthorised” performance of the song.
Karen Willis, the wife of lead singer Victor Willis, also reportedly demanded that Mr Trump, stop using the group’s likeness in future.
In a letter to Mr Trump’s lawyers, first obtained by TMZ, she wrote: “(Since the video)… we have been inundated with social media posts about the imitation performance where many fans, and the general public as well, mistakenly believe to be that of the actual Village People.
“Therefore the performance has, and continues to cause public confusion as to why Village People would engage in such a performance. We did not.”
“Though my husband has publically tolerated your client’s use of his Village People music, we cannot allow such use by him to cause public confusion as to an endorsement.
“Therefore it is requested that he cease and desist any such further unauthorised use of the Village People image in association with the songs and his campaign (or in his personal capacity).”
Mrs Wilis said that if Mr Trump did not stop using the band’s image, the group would bring further action, including preventing the use of their music.
“And we’d hate to have to do that,” she added.
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Mr Willis, the lead singer of the legendary 70s and 80s band, has previously commented on Mr Trump’s use of his songs, including Macho Man and the group’s global hit Y.M.C.A.
In February 2020, Mr Willis distanced himself from Mr Trump, saying that he would allow the use of the band’s songs, but that it did not mean an endorsement.
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He wrote in a Facebook post: “Our music is all-inclusive and certainly everyone is entitled to do the Y.M.C.A 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.”
However, Mr Willis asked Mr Trump to stop using his music in June 2020 after it was claimed that the then-president wanted to use the US military to quell Black Lives Matter protests.
Sky News has contacted representatives for the Village People and Mr Trump for comment.