The Village People’s “Macho Man” is a familiar song for Trump supporters who frequently hear the 1978 anthem to masculinity at rallies and other campaign events. Now the group’s lead singer has sent a cease and desist letter to former President Donald Trump’s lawyers over a recent performance of the song at Mar-a-Lago.
In a letter sent by the wife of lead singer Victor Willis, the couple cites a performance of “Macho Man” at Mar-a-Lago in May featuring performers dressed to resemble the Village People.
“Since that time, 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 in violation of the Lanham Act,” the letter states.
The Village People lead singer sent Trump a cease and desist over a performance of “Macho Man” at Mar-a-Lago: pic.twitter.com/meHYWMOjgf
— Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) May 15, 2023
The Lanham Act is a federal trademark protection statute that prohibits the use of imitations that would cause confusion with the original trademarked entity.
“Therefore, the performance has, and continues to cause, public confusion as to why Village People would engage in such a performance. We did not.”
The letter demands that Trump stop using the Village People “image” in association with the songs and his campaign.
For now at least, Trump is still allowed to play “Macho Man,” “YMCA,” and other Village People songs at campaign events. “Though my husband has tolerated your client’s use of his Village People music, we cannot allow such use by him to cause public confusion as to endorsement,” the letter states.
During the 2020 presidential race, dozens of musicians and bands demanded that Trump stop using their music at his rallies and events. They included Aerosmith, Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and Neil Young.