Fourteen American lifeguards fired last month for making a video spoof of South Korean pop singer Psy’s viral music video “Gangnam Style,” may be getting their jobs back.
The El Monte City Council in the state of California voted 3-2 this week to reinstate the lifeguards to their positions, pending a management review at the El Monte Aquatic Center, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
The spoof video, “Lifeguard Style,” was filmed by the lifeguards at the aquatic center and posted to YouTube where it has garnered over 2 million hits. In the two-minute clip, the swimsuit-clad employees can be seen rubbing sunscreen on one another, performing synchronized swimming and imitating the pop singer’s dance moves in the pool and in areas around the aquatic center.
The lifeguards, who are mostly college students, were fired last month by city officials, who said the reason for their terminations was the unauthorized use of city resources, including uniforms, and that the lifeguards used the city-run aquatic center for personal use, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
The lifeguards argued they should not have been fired since the video was shot while they were off-duty.
The video gained national attention after the lifeguards received an outpouring of support from the local community, who were outraged that they had been fired. Some supporters wore shirts to this week’s city council meeting that said, “Bring Back EMAC 14,” the Tribune reported.
A “Bring back the 14 El Monte Lifeguards,” Facebook page has also been created and received 17,370 likes.
Psy, the Korean pop star, has also come out in support of the group, “begging” El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero to rehire the employees in an interview with MTV.
But some of the lifeguards do not want their jobs back, according to the Tribune.
“I just want to put it behind me already and move on,” said 20-year-old Amelia Rangel in an interview with the newspaper.