When actress Elizabeth Banks walked onstage at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, her entrance was accompanied by Queen‘s resilient “We Are the Champions,” the same track Donald Trump used in his RNC address much to May’s dismay.
But in a statement to Rolling Stone, Queen guitarist Brian May says that Banks’ usage, while equally unauthorized, at least made him laugh.
“Well, I think it’s fair to say Trump has been trumped!” May tells Rolling Stone. “I suppose, in a sense, Elizabeth Banks’ use of the song AS WELL as Donald Trump restores the balance. She didn’t ask either, but her lampoon did make me laugh. Watching Donald Trump parade himself to ‘We Are The Champions’ gave me a sinister feeling – but Elizabeth’s ‘performance’ was clearly lighthearted.”
Banks took the stage in Philadelphia and deadpanned, “You know, I don’t usually say this about Donald Trump, but that was over the top,” joking that she purchased her fog machine from the GOP presidential nominee for $30 via eBay. She also compared the Republican to her egomaniacal, wig-sporting Hunger Games character, Effie Trinket.
May seems resigned to politicians using the band’s music without permission, but tells Rolling Stone, “Realistically, it seems we have little choice in these matters, but given the choice between our record being used to promote hatred and intolerance, or being used for comedy, I’d take the latter.”
Trump first used the song without permission during his address after clinching the final round of Republican primaries. May responded on his website, “Regardless of our views on Mr. Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool.”
A “frustrated” Queen then doubled-down on that stance after “Champions” appeared during the nominee’s dramatic RNC entrance. “Queen does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country,” the band wrote. “Nor does Queen want ‘We are the Champions’ to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party. We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward.”