That Ridiculous “Trolls” Video, Though

The weekend’s main political event in Denver after a big week for local Republicans was the Western Conservative Summit, which played host to a large number of conservative politicos, interest groups, and individual activists–and featured a memorable disruption of Sen. Cory Gardner’s speech by disability-rights activists.

But what people are talking about most today is a video shot for Jeff Hunt of the WCS’ sponsoring organization Colorado Christian University, featuring a bevy of Colorado elected officials and Hunt dancing to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”–as featured (without a shred of irony) in the hit Dreamworks animated movie Trolls! Now the video hasn’t yet been taken down for copyright violations, so we assume the song was licensed? Either way, Denverite:

Described as the largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington, D.C., the summit started Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday at the Colorado Convention Center. The video features Colorado Republicans dancing all over Denver, though some of them are closer to “dancing.”

They were at the State Capitol, the Convention Center, Little Man Ice Cream, Ace Eat Serve and apparently an Audi dealership — among other locations…

Using the song from Trolls is doubly ironic once you see what the internet did to this video within moments of its release. See–George Brauchler dancing a jig!

See–Rep. Ken Buck blow ’em away!

See–Jeff Hunt loving him some Audi R8. Call it the “prosperity Gospel?”

Sen. Cory Gardner and Hunt say, “it’s fun to stay at the W-C-S!” Except you’re on camera, so do it backwards! Crap, too late:

Cory Gardner, cool guy in the Corvette gets turned into:

Check out more examples at Denverite, or show us your own in comments.

And no matter how good it sounds in a staff meeting, don’t ever let this happen to you! The internet is a cruel, unforgiving place–where context has no obligation to exist at all. Until you’ve thought through not just how a video like this will be received, but how it will be used against you out of context…just don’t.

Every so often it’s necessary for the political class to relearn this lesson the hard way.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    Wonder which one of those shitty dancers was our very own 2 Live Drew.

  2. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    WCS' video probably is a copyright infringement by the WCS. "Fair Use" would allow excerpts from the song to be used for educational purposes, but WCS used the entire song, copied from Timberlake's original music video.

    Even though the WCS video soundtrack lists "Standard Youtube License" as the owner, Youtube is pretty clear that that particular song is not available to just freely copy and use. Standard youtube license just means that your video is copyrighted by youtube, and people have to log on to youtube to access it.

    So the Trolls movie excerpt has to be accessed from youtube – it in no way gives anyone permission to use the song for their own videos.

    Also, Timberlake's music isn't listed on the Creative Commons website, which is where people who want to allow the public to freely use their content put it.

    You can bet that the original Trolls movie paid a nice sum to Sony records and Justin Timberlake for use of the song.

    There are a ton of "Can't stop the feeling" remakes and covers on youtube. It's a hit song, after all – people have done dance challenges, and there are certainly nonprofits that have used it for educational purposes. Is the Western Conservative Summit a nonprofit? If they charge $120 to get in, and it's a meet-and-greet for lawmakers to hobnob with lobbyists, I'd say the designation is dubious. It's a gray area.

    All that said, nothing will be done unless Sony decides to come after the Western Conservative Summit. Random youtube users can't just report stuff. It has to be the copyright owner who does that.

    It may or not be effective outreach to millenials, which I would guess was the purpose of the video. Mostly, millenials identify as independents (41% in the 2016 Pew poll).  I would hope that these young people care more about policy than dance moves. The millenials I know do.

    I'm glad that something good came out of it – kudos to Denverite's Stephanie Snyder for making the gifs. I'm sure we'll see a lot of them in the months to come.


  3. JohnInDenver says:

    Cory doing sunglasses … perhaps someone gif..ed could play with the Men in Black sunglasses gifs.

    This one seems like a possibility …


  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    I don't know what was the bigger humiliation for Broccoli….

    The outcome of the Holmes trial or that jig he does in that video.

    In fact, they all look pretty foolish. I'm reminded of that old jingle for Klondike ice cream. "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" For these clowns, anything goes.

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