Twitter pulls Conservatives’ ‘Willy Wonka’ attack ad on Trudeau due to copyright

Click to play video: 'Conservatives criticized from within their own ranks over political ad featuring ‘Willy Wonka’ spoof of Trudeau'
Conservatives criticized from within their own ranks over political ad featuring ‘Willy Wonka’ spoof of Trudeau
WATCH: The ad, which depicts Trudeau's face pasted on top of an image of a bratty character from classic children's film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," was roundly condemned by sitting Conservative MPs as juvenile – Aug 15, 2021

Oompa loompa doopety da.

If you respect copyright, then you will go far.

Twitter says it has pulled a Conservative Party attack ad against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau from its platform after the studio behind Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory complained that a scene from its 1971 film had been used without permission.

The video posted by the official CPC account shows Trudeau’s face superimposed over that of Veruca Salt, the spoiled child who sings “I want it now” before things go awry for her in Wonka’s temptation-filled chocolate factory.

Justin Trudeau’s face is shown in this edited clip from the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’ which was posted by the Conservative Party of Canada on social media Aug. 13, 2021. Conservative Party of Canada/Facebook

“The only reason for an election is because Trudeau wants a majority,” the intro to the 37-second video reads. The clip then shows “Trudeau” singing Salt’s song. Various items in the candy factory have also been labelled with campaign issues such as “the economy” and “higher taxes.”

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The video was posted last Friday, ahead of Trudeau’s move to call a snap election on Sunday.

Twitter Canada confirmed on Tuesday that it removed the tweet after it received a copyright infringement complaint under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives,” a Twitter Canada spokesperson told Global News.

Twitter received the complaint on Saturday, one day after the video was posted, according to the public Lumen Database of Twitter complaints.
A Conservative Party source told Global News Monday prior to the tweet’s deletion that the copyright holders were expected to object to the tweet.

Warner Bros. declined to comment on the specifics of the case, saying only that it does not want to see its content used without permission.

Several incumbent Conservative candidates criticized the ad online, joining other Conservative party candidates on facebook who deemed it to be in “poor taste.”
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“I agree that video is dumb,” Scott Aitchison, the incumbent Conservative candidate for Parry Sound—Muskoka in Ontario, wrote in response to another Twitter user. “Sadly they don’t ask me my opinion on these things…”

Todd Doherty, the incumbent Conservative candidate in Cariboo—Prince George in B.C., also described the video as “embarrassing” on Twitter.

“CPC_HQ, I and others expect you to be better,” he wrote.

The video was still visible on the Conservative Party’s Facebook page Tuesday morning, where many of the top comments were critical of its tone.

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“I feel this is in bad taste,” user Roni Healy wrote. You don’t win an election or change people’s minds by dissing the other guy, you win it by telling everyone what you’re going to do that is better for the country than them. Poor taste.”

The Conservative ad resembles the crudely edited Marvel video memes that have become popular in U.S. politics in recent years.

In 2019, for example, former U.S. president Donald Trump‘s campaign caused a stir during his first impeachment by tweeting a video showing him as the villainous Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. 

A pro-Joe Biden video later racked up more than 35 million views on Twitter by presenting him and his political allies as the Avengers assembling for Election Day 2020.

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Canadians head to the polls on Sept. 20.

— with files from Global News Chief Political Correspondent David Akin

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