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'Gangnam Style' singer Psy, flash mob expected at The Grove today

September 17, 2012 | 12:23 pm

The South Korean pop star whose "Gangnam Style" dance became a viral video sensation and led to the firing of a group of El Monte city lifeguards is expected to make an appearance in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.

Fans of Psy have been rehearsing a flash mob for the singer, who is scheduled to appear on "Extra" at The Grove.

The singer's appearance comes a day before the group of fired lifeguards is expected to appeal to the El Monte City Council. The 13 lifeguards and their supervisor were fired for making "Lifeguard Style," one in a small barrage of "Gangnam" spoofs that are bombarding the Web.

Psy has asked Mayor Andre Quintero to give the lifeguards their jobs back.

"Unfortunately, I'm a rookie here. When I become a big star here, I really want to help them out because that's not fair. I don't think so," Psy said on MTV. "What did they do? They weren't wrong? I think it was off duty — that's what I heard. They can be more flexible to each other."

Quintero told The Times in an email that he has seen the video and lessons can be learned from the experience.

"If these employees wanted to produce a video for their own enjoyment and memories, they could have asked for permission and shared the video with their family and friends using a medium that is less public," he said.

"Fortunately for them," he added, "the video has received positive attention, but it could have just as easily received negative attention."

The video’s creators, however, said they just “wanted to try something fun.”

Michael Roa, a University of La Verne student who worked at the El Monte Aquatic Center for seven years, edited and posted the group's performance Aug. 26.

"We were trying out some dance moves," he said. "We didn't think we did anything offensive."

Last week, supervisors in El Monte's Parks and Recreation Division called in Roa and the others -- including the manager, who did not appear in the video -- and asked them to review pages from a staff manual before being terminated, according to Roa and lifeguard Yvonne Tam, a UC Santa Barbara student.

In a statement, city officials said the lifeguards made an "unauthorized video" while using city resources without permission, namely their distinctive red swimwear and the city pool.

A Facebook page launched by the fired workers, "Bring Back the 14 El Monte Lifeguards," had more than 14,000 fans as of Monday morning.


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