The popular YouTube dance music video “Gangnam Style” has not only gone viral, but it’s indirectly affected the jobs of a group of California lifeguards.
Korean pop singer PSY’s video – which starts on a beach, as PSY demonstrates his “horse-riding dance” and begins singing about longing for a girl who is ”tender and big-hearted” by day, but wild and fiery by night — inspired the lifeguards to create their own spoof, “Lifeguard Style.” Lifeguards clad in red suits dance, swim together, thrust their hips and generally have a grand time.
But when El Monte city officials saw the video, they were less than impressed. In a written statement released to ABC affiliate KABC the city said:
“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.”
El Monte city officials cited that the content of the video was not what led to the firing; rather it was the “unauthorized use of a city facility for the group’s private benefit.”
One of the fired lifeguards, 22-year-old Michael Roa, said he was shown the video by a friend in the break room and thought the video was “hilarious” and decided to do his own with his fellow lifeguards.
“We wanted to commemorate a great and successful summer for the pool and to make memories with people that we worked with,” he said. “We wanted to have something to look back on as a fond memory of the pool. We never thought it would turn out to be what it has become.”
Roa said he was told by the El Monte city manager that the video was “disgusting” and an “embarrassment” to the city.
“I uploaded it to YouTube as a way to show it to my friends, not for fame, and there was no malice and I wasn’t looking for monetary gain or to give the city a bad image,” Roa said. “I can’t really express how frustrated I am with the rash decisions that they’re making.”
The El Monte city manager could not be reached for comment. Nor could the mayor. Read more at ABC News