CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cameron Mackintosh & Alain Boublil Release Statement on Donald Trump's Use of LES MIS Tune at Miami Rally

www.broadwayworld.com: As BroadwayWorld reported over the weekend, at a recent rally in Miami, presidential candidate Donald Trump made his way to the stage to the sounds of Boublil and Schoenberg's, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" -- a theme from the beloved Broadway musical LES MISERABLES.

8 comments:

Megan Jones said...

I'm so happy that Boublil and Mackintosh decided to speak out against this, as Trump really misrepresented the message of the song. "Do You Hear the People Sing?" is supposed to be a message of hope and empowerment for those who are oppressed, and is instead being to promote someone hateful. I can't imagine how it must feel to see something you created be used in the exact opposite way than you intended. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, as the Trump campaign was previously slammed for using the song "We Are The Champions" without getting the permission of Queen. I honestly don't understand why Trump would want to use music from artists who have completely opposing views to him, but these incidents to bring up an important debate about ownership. Should an artist be able to stop someone from using their work just because they don't agree with them? In this example there is the added element of possible copyright infringement, but this isn't always the case. I'm not really sure where I stand on this, but I do know that whenever you put something out into the world there is no guarantee you'll like what happens to it.

Evan Schild said...

My immediate reaction to this was hell yeah Cameron!! I am so happy that a man with such theater power would stand up for himself and theater in this political race. I am so happy that he is not allowing for Trump to use his music. One weird thing was that the song represents people trying to leave oppression. He was using that to get people to oppress others since his whole campaign has been on hatred. Also broadway has literally endorsed Hilary Clinton so I was very confused on why he would use music made by/ produce by/ sung by people who would never vote for him.

Lauren Miller said...

I feel like I have to constantly have to remind myself that, even though my initial reactions to Trump's blundering actions are always humorous, Trump is actually seen as a valid political candidate by some people and that it terrifying. The thing that bothers me about this specific article is that it is just contributing to the echo chamber that theater can be. As an industry, we tend to be liberal and share many of the same priorities and views on issues. An article on Broadwayworld contributes nothing to an already well established opinion (see the fact that Actors Equity endorsed Hilary this last month. We can read this article and be proud of the composers and chuckle to ourselves but that really achieves nothing. People outside of theater will probably never read this article. Few people of a different opinion will be reached. I highly doubt that this article, or even a lawsuit, could stop Trump from stealing intellectual property again and again (which he is well known to have been doing for years). I doubt this article will manage to change anyone's opinion.

Alex Talbot said...

The part that really got me about this is that the Trump campaign clearly either doesn't know or doesn't care about the plot of this show. He acts as if him and his supporters are the valiant underdog who is battling the establishment, but he forgets a main point of this show--the rebels don't win. But besides that, it is absolutely absurd that he would use any reference to this musical in his rallies. The musical is about a group of oppressed people trying to break free of the chains that society has put on them, not anything to do with a republican presidental candidate who has rose to the top by "saying what he thinks." If this musical took place today, Trump would certainly not be on the side of the rebels in Les Mis. But with all that aside, I'm glad the two released this statement, because no matter the politics of the candidate, nobody should use any material without explicit permission from the writer, and this will keep happening unless the artists speak out.

Brennan Felbinger said...

It's been very interesting to see how many artists have come forward this election cycle to voice their disdain over their music being used in Trump's presence. I'm not really sure how realistic it is to put forth a law suit towards The Donald considering his lawyer's are likely the best in the business considering how much they probably deal with, but it's interesting that his team is bold enough to choose to use music of a questionable legality considering how polarizing his campaign has been. I also find it incredibly ironic that he would be using a musical theatre song at his rally, considering how the art form has been a major champion of equal rights that he has personally fought against. Often, moves like these make me wonder if Trump is more of a patron of both the arts and equal rights than he puts on, as a form of strategy.

Kat Landry said...

I hope they sue the hell out of him.

The funny thing is, this is not the first time this has happened. There have been several artists who have called Trump out for using their work without permission already. I think what makes the situation worse with Trump is that he isn't just a person walking out to a song (which I'm sure happens all the time and the artists don't bat an eye), he is a person whose entire campaign is build on hate and prejudice. Who wants their art to be associated with someone like that??

I also think it is truly hilarious that this is the song he chose to walk out to. "These are the voices of the people who will not be slaves again!" Wait, sorry, do you mean your white, male, uneducated audience? Are they starting a revolution? Have they been oppressed? Are YOU, Mr. Trump, the underdog who will rise against our detestable nation? Well thank GOD I can hear the people sing, now I've been warned! No more oppressing the white man! Or he'll get us all!

Ugh.

Benjamin King said...

I really hate to make assumptions about someone I don’t know, but I can’t resist the urge to think that he has never supported the arts. As soon as I typed that, I searched on the internet for “trump art” and one of the first articles was titled “Absolutely Gross, Degenerate Stuff: Trump and the Arts”. The headline is a direct quote from a piece that was in the Brook Museum. Even though this article was pretty much about a copyright issue, it has larger and longer implications. As someone who aims to be working in the arts industry in some shape or form in the next 4 years, I am deeply concerned about the possibility of a Trump presidency, in which I fear he would slash art grants and endowments in addition to funding for arts education, despite the fact that it has been proven over and over again to be a successful tool for children.

Cosette Craig said...

This is hilarious. This could be an Onion article. My dad sent me a photo of a bumper sticker seen in Texas this past weekend with this "Les Deplorables" bumper sticker on the back and I didn't get the reference until now. All humor aside, copyright infringement is wrong. But I'm going to take this in a different direction. Trump playing this song with a literal photoshopped meme above his head is in itself, a form of theater. He is putting on the most brilliant, long running, farcical comedy in decades. The humor in this comes almost entirely from the fact that choosing this song is blatantly ironic. "Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see?"

Ok, now to address the copyright infringement. This is exactly why copyright exists; so artists don't unwillingly have their art supporting people like this. Good for Cameron. Protect Les Mis.