Fired El Monte Lifeguards From "Gangnam Style" Video Could Get Their Jobs Back

El Monte's mayor said he wanted the fired 14 pool staffers reinstated after furor over post-video firing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Fourteen staffers of the El Monte Aquatic Center were terminated after they used a city pool to make a parody of the Internet sensation video "Gangnam style" from Korean pop star PSY, at right.

    The El Monte pool staffers who were fired a month ago for making a spoof of the viral music video "Gangnam Style" could be getting their jobs back.

    This week, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero said he had concerns with how the city had handled the discovery of a YouTube video in which swimsuit-clad employees of a municipal aquatic center danced and lip synced at the facility.

    "The argument or the concern is: Does the punishment fit the crime?" Quintero stated at the early morning Wednesday conclusion of Tuesday's City Council meeting.

    El Monte Lifeguards Ask For Their Jobs back

    [LA] Fired El Monte Lifeguards Ask For Their Jobs back
    Fourteen El Monte lifeguards fired for making a spoof of popular dance video "Gangnam Style" went before the City Council on Tuesday night to ask for their jobs back, and the chambers were packed. Colleen Williams reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2012.

    Quintero directed city staff to bring back a motion to have the so-called El Monte 14 reinstated while a city-hired outside investigator finishes a review on the attention-generating video and resulting firings.

    The item is set to be put on the agenda for the council's next meeting, which is slated for Oct. 16, according to the city clerk's office.

    Gangnam Style: Lifeguards Fired After Spoof

    [LA] Gangnam Style: Lifeguards Fired After In-Pool Spoof
    More than a dozen lifeguards at the El Monte Aquatic Center were fired Wednesday after they posted a YouTube video dancing and swimming to "Gangnam Style" by Korean pop star PSY. Angie Crouch reports from El Monte for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2012.

    Under state open meeting laws, the rehiring couldn't be voted on this week because the item had not been placed on that meeting's agenda.

    Once pool supervisors learned of the video in early September, those involved were fired, with the city pointing to a policy barring misuse of municipal property.

    The lifeguards said they had made the video to celebrate a fun summer working at the pool, and never intended to harm the city or the year-round El Monte Aquatic Center. The video has nearly 2 million views on YouTube.

    After they were fired, the 14 employees turned to the news media and Facebook, gaining international attention for their case. Their Facebook page – "Bring back the 14 El Monte Lifeguards" – earned more than 17,000 "likes."

    The lifeguards said they had made the video to celebrate a fun summer working at the pool, and never intended to harm the city or the year-round El Monte Aquatic Center. The video has nearly 2 million views on YouTube.

    Even PSY himself – the Korean pop star whose viral hit started a cavalcade of spoofs, much like Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" – came out in support of the El Monte 14.

    At this week's meeting, El Monte council members offered no objection to the mayor's plan.

    Quintero said the city needed the lifeguards' cooperation to look into their concerns about the management of the aquatic center.

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