Unless you've been living under a digital rock, you've likely heard about the worldwide phenomenon "Gangnam Style," a viral YouTube video from South Korean rapper Psy. It's already surpassed 200 million views, landed Psy a guest spot on the popular talk show "Ellen," and spawned a number of spoof videos. One of the most popular of those YouTube spoofs is a video (above) featuring lifeguards from a Los Angeles-area beach that earned over 1.5 million views before the entire crew of 14 dancers were fired because of it.
The spoof, called "Lifeguard Style," features a group of young adults dancing, swimming, and otherwise having fun to the tune of Psy's international hit. And while their antics have proved to be a huge hit with the public, administrators in El Monte, California where the video was shot were not big fans. In fact, town officials wound up firing everyone involved from their not-so-cushy $9.54 to $14.20-per-hour public service jobs because the off-duty video was "unauthorized" and used city resources — the city pool and their uniforms — without permission.
Though the administrators in El Monte may be humorless stuffed shirts who like to ruin their employees' fun, the public has been very vocal about supporting the group of teens and twenty-somethings. At a meeting last night to discuss the firing, the lifeguards enjoyed overflow crowds that applauded and cheered their statements. "How does firing the lifeguards help the community, a community that watched its children grow up along with the lifeguards?" asked one local resident.
But it's not just locals who are supporting the creative videosmiths — even the South Korean rapper himself supports the fired lifeguards' cause. "I really want to help them out, because that's not fair," explained Psy in an interview with MTV. "I'm begging you to do not fire, please."
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