With Queen’s “We Are the Champions” serving as his soundtrack, Donald Trump made a flashy entrance to the RNC stage on Monday night.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 19, 2016
Trump might be a fan of Queen, but Queen’s guitarist is no fan of Trump. When Trump used the same tune during one of his rallies last month, Queen guitarist Brian May said he’d “never give permission” to Trump to do so.
“We certainly have not approved this use of [the song],” the British musician wrote on his website, pointing out he speaks only for himself. “I will make sure we take what steps we can to dissociate ourselves from Donald Trump’s unsavoury campaign.”
While politicians usually have legal cover to use songs like “We Are the Champions” during public events, copyright law expert Sherin Siy told NPR earlier this year that politicians will usually comply with artists’ wishes once they make them known.
“The optics of it are so bad that there’s really not much point in continuing to use a piece of music when the musicians really don’t want you to,” she said.
Also problematic is the fact that Freddie Mercury, the man who sang “We Are the Champions,” was an LGBT icon, yet the platform set to be approved by Trump’s party reveals some delegates still haven’t accepted it’s okay to be gay, as it contains language that appears to endorse the widely decried practice of gay conversion therapy.
“The right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy, for their minor children,” one plank of the platform states. While the language isn’t precise, given that several states have moved to ban ex-gay therapy for minors, it’s unclear what else it could actually refer to.
Trump has pandered for the LGBT vote, but his pleas ring hollow. He’s on record as opposing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that effectively legalized marriage equality throughout the country, and he recently indicated he doesn’t object to anti-trans state laws like North Carolina’s HB2.