Donald Trump could face legal action for playing the 1970s disco gay anthem ‘YMCA’ at his campaign rallies without permission.
Lawyers from the record label representing the Village People are set to submit a complaint “in the next few days”, according to Agence France-Presse.
Jonathan Belolo, son of one of the band’s founding members Henri Belolo, has criticised Trump’s “illicit appropriation” of the song.
Widely considered a gay anthem, the song ‘YMCA’ has become a favourite of the president’s and has been played frequently on the Trump campaign trail.
In a bizarre two-minute clip released by the president himself on the morning of the election, Trump is seen dancing to the popular disco track in front of a crowd of supporters.
The clip, which has more than 40 million views, was greeted with a mix of amusement, bafflement and disgust on social media.
A group of Trump supporters protesting ballot counting in Phoenix, Arizona, was seen breaking out into the ‘YMCA’ chorus.
“We’re sending this to our president,” one said.
Trump appears to be rather a fan of the Village People, having also played another of their classics, ‘Macho Man’, at his campaign events despite pleas from the band to stop playing their tunes.
Belolo, who is also the president of the French record label Scorpio Music, said: “The beneficiaries of (band co-founders) Messrs Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, like the company Scorpio Music, owner of the work, discovered with amazement this illicit appropriation, which is more for partisan and electoral purposes of Donald Trump, which they would never have accepted.”
“This infringing use of the YMCA work will therefore 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.
“As of now, they are banning anyone from disseminating the contentious video in question without their authorisation.”
Victor Willis, a singer of the band, recently clarified neither he nor the rest of Village People had ever endorsed Trump.
He told the BBC in October: “I like hearing music at all times and I like the fact that fans of all kinds, Democrats or Republicans, they all like YMCA and that is something that is pleasing to me.
“As far as endorsing Trump, I don’t endorse Trump, I’ve never endorsed Trump, nor has Village People.
“We have even asked him basically to stop even playing our music at his rallies.”