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El Monte Lifeguards Ask City Council To Rethink 'Gangnam-Style' Video Firings

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The El Monte lifeguards who were fired for creating a popular remake of the "Gangnam-Style" video said they aren't going down without a fight.

The thirteen lifeguards who were fired for making a video on city property and in their city uniforms (if not on city time) plan to show up to Tuesday's City Hall meeting to ask for their jobs back. They have the support of the original video star Psy—if not the mayor.

One of the fired lifeguards Daniel Surmenian writes in Zócalo about how his brief appearance in the video caused him to lose a job he's had for nearly a decade:

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It hurt to be fired from a job that has been part of my life for most of the past eight years. But it was also strange. Pool employees have committed far worse offenses and just undergone a standard protocol of write-ups, suspensions, and so forth before being fired. In the video, we were doing what we do at the pool—having fun, engaging with each other and the wider world, and, in my view, reflecting the spirit of a fun, welcoming place for people of all ages.
Fortunately, I’m not the only one who seems to feel that way. The local community and even people from around the world have expressed support for us. Plus, of course, Psy. That’s been gratifying. And overwhelming. On Tuesday, those of us who were fired are going to appear before a meeting of the city council and have our case reviewed.

He adds: "If we get our jobs back, I promise to ask for permission to be involved in any future video tributes to Korean rap stars."