R.E.M. Block Pres. Trump From Tweeting Democrat-Mocking 'Everybody Hurts' Viral Video: Report
R.E.M. was not happy that President Donald Trump re-tweeted a video featuring clips from his recent State of the Union address cued to their 1992 ballad "Everybody Hurts," over a montage of congressional democrats looking dejected. So, the members of the defunct Georgia band did something that few others have been able to do: they got Twitter to take action against the twitterer-in-chief.
The video, created by a popular Trump meme generator, drew the immediate attention of the band, whose official account responded, "World Leader Pretend!!! Congress, Media-ghost this faker!!! Love, R.E.M."
The original clip was then taken down and replaced with a duplicate that used a Trump go-to favorite, Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American," instead. R.E.M.'s former bassist, Mike Mills, weighed in on the latest dust-up between Trump and a rock band upset about his use of their music. "So the meme's fair use," he wrote. "I LOVE the 1st Amendment! Meme away, folks But that takes nothing away from what a fraudulent con man @realDonaldTrump is. #WorldLeaderPretend."
Mills eventually made peace with the person behind the @CarpeDonktum account, who said he was "just a dude in my living room making videos that people enjoy." According to CNBC, the original "Hurts"-soundtracked video, which included such democratic lawmakers as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez looking glum during Trump's Feb. 5 speech, was reportedly removed from Twitter on Saturday after a complaint on Friday from Universal Music Publishing Group -- the band's publisher.
R.E.M. -- who've asked Trump to cease playing "It's the End of the World as We Know It" at his rallies in the past -- join a long list of artists who've asked Trump to stop using their songs in his tweets and public appearances, including Rihanna, Pharrell and Guns N' Roses, as well as Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, Adele, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and the estates of Prince and George Harrison, among others.