A video mocking Democrats by using R.E.M.’s hit “Everybody Hurts” has been axed by Twitter due to copyright infringement after the band mounted an effort to have it removed.
The parody video, created by YouTuber CarpeDonktum, features President Trump delivering his State of the Union speech as the camera cuts to the sullen faces of Democrats in the audience, with R.E.M.’s mournful music serving as the soundtrack.
After the meme was retweeted by Trump himself, members of the band — which broke up in 2011 — took to Twitter to insist it be taken down.
“The a**holes @CarpeDonktum created the meme. #PresidentA**hole retweeted it. Measures have been taken to stop it. @jack you need to get on this,” R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills tweeted on Friday, reaching out to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
According to CNBC, those “measures” reportedly included a lawyer for Universal Music Publishing Group contacting Twitter to request the video be taken down from the platform due to copyright infringement.
By the early hours of Saturday, that’s exactly what happened; users who tried to play the video in Trump’s retweet saw a message reading, “This video has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder.”
Before the video was taken down, R.E.M. and Mills did a little Trump trolling on Twitter, referencing the band’s song “World Leader Pretend”.
“The White House did not respond to CNBC’s questions about the president’s Friday tweet,” reports CNBC. “A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment.”
This isn’t the first time R.E.M. has tussled with Trump over use of its music. During Trump’s 2015 presidential campaign, the band’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” was regularly played at rallies — which did not go over well with singer Michael Stipe.
“Go f**k yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men,” Stipe said in an email to The Daily Beast, responding to the Trump campaign’s use of the song. “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”