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We know, we know. You didn’t expect to see the words “Harlem Shake” in a headline in 2017. We, too, wish the viral dance meme could have stayed buried in 2013. Blame it on the Federal Communications Commission.
Baauer, the creator of the “Harlem Shake,” has made headlines yet again for standing up against the FCC and the end of net neutrality.
Baauer’s song was used by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and conservative outlet the Daily Caller in a video entitled “7 Things You Can Still Do on the Internet After Net Neutrality,” released after the FCC voted on Thursday to repeal protections for net neutrality.
Obviously, no one on the internet enjoyed watching Pai participate in a meme that died back in 2013, alongside Martina Markota, known for spreading the thoroughly debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
BREAKING: The FCC has voted to dismantle #netneutrality— Reagan (@reayonce) December 14, 2017
But do not be disheartened. Congress has the final say. Be proactive. Keep contacting your congress members.
It's the entire internet vs a guy who thinks the harlem shake is a relevant trend.
the fight is not over
The chairman of the FCC does the Harlem Shake in this video in case you needed more help in deciding which side of this issue is wrong or right https://t.co/j7T4eZHNDr— Rocco Botte (@rocco_botte) December 14, 2017
Motherfucker tried to appeal to us with a HARLEM SHAKE VIDEO. NOT A RUNNING MAN CHALLENGE, NOT A MANNEQUIN CHALLENGE. NOTHING RECENT...bitch used a MEME...FROM 5 YEARS AGO!!! HE IS UNFUCKINGFIT TO GOVERN OVER A GOTDAMN THING OVER HERE, CUH!!!!— Brian Foster: Flyin Saucer (@RexTestarossa) December 14, 2017
James Vanderbeek, using his @_diplo_ Twitter account, brought the use of the song to the attention of Baauer Thursday night. Baauer swiftly responded and said he plans to take action.
I'm Taking action. Whatever I can do to stop this loser https://t.co/Ajo6wBATdF— Aa (@baauer) December 14, 2017
i issued my command,— Diplo (@_diplo_) December 15, 2017
and a brave soldier obeyed.
we are at war and i am the general.
the edm army shall prepare for battle and ride at dawn! you will know of our coming by the bass that shakes the soil our enemies.
fight bravely. the drop is coming. pic.twitter.com/kJTCcZCKId
Baauer told Billboard Dance the track was used without permission and he plans to take legal action against Pai and the FCC.
“The use of my song in this video obviously comes as a surprise to me as it was just brought to my attention,” he said in a statement. “I want to be clear that it was used completely without my consent or council. My team and I are currently exploring every single avenue available to get it taken down. I support net neutrality like the vast majority of this country and am appalled to be associated with its repeal.”
Maybe we’ll have a reason to be grateful for the “Harlem Shake” after all.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.