After UNC's complaint, Twitter takes down Eric Trump's doctored Roy Williams video

Jack Baer
·Writer
·3 min read
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
Roy Williams once slammed President Donald Trump's use of Twitter. Now, the president's son has used a doctored video of him on Twitter. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

A complaint from the University of North Carolina seems to have led to Twitter taking down a video posted by Eric Trump. It features the face of his father President Donald Trump overlaid onto the body of UNC basketball coach Roy Williams.

The younger Trump published the video in question on Wednesday morning after Day 2 of the Republic National Convention, according to The News & Observer.

With the caption “Backstage last night at the #RNC,” the president’s face had been placed on the body of Williams in a famous clip of the coach dancing with his players after a win over Duke in 2016. Other figures including Eric and Donald Trump Jr., Terrence K. Williams and Kanye West were reportedly edited into the video, while some players had “Make America Great Again” hats edited onto their heads.

UNC not happy with Trump video

Such a post drew the ire of the UNC program, whose spokesperson Steve Kirschner confirmed to The News & Observer that Trump had used its copyrighted video without permission. He also said the program supports efforts by the NBA and Tar Heel alumni in the fight against racial injustice:

“First, our players, coaches and staff support the Milwaukee Bucks’ action to boycott yesterday’s playoff game, which had the backing of the NBA and other professional athletes, teams and leagues,” Kirschner said in an emailed statement Thursday. “We are proud of Marvin Williams, Danny Green, Kenny Smith and our other Tar Heel alumni who chose to take this important step against continued racial injustice.”

He added of the video: “We are profoundly disappointed that political messaging would be made using video without permission that shows our players, coach and uniforms from inside our team’s locker room celebration.”

Several UNC figures, including members of that 2017 team, also called out the video, ranging from “We don’t even get down like that” to “I’m appalled” to “Hell no. — this ass!

Williams — who was mentored by Dean Smith, one of the most progressive voices in sports history — has been highly critical of Trump in the past, once saying that the president “tweets out more bulls— than anybody I've ever seen.” When the Tar Heels won the national championship in 2017, the team did not visit the White House, though that was publicly chalked up to scheduling conflicts.

Twitter takes down another Trump video

Soon after UNC’s complaints, Twitter confirmed to The Hill that it had taken down Trump’s video due to a copyright violation:

"Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives," a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill on Thursday.

While only the video was initially removed, the whole post appears to have since been taken down.

This isn’t the first time the Trump family has run afoul of copyright laws. Donald Trump has had videos taken down over complaints concerning the likes of Nickelback, “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Game of Thrones.” Music legend Neil Young has also sued Trump for use of his songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at numerous campaign events.

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