A Heap Of Celebrities Sung ‘Imagine’ Together, And It’s Tone-Deaf In Every Way Possible
"Imagine a world where there's no people"... really?
As artists and creatives live-stream events, host impromptu ‘home concerts’ and readjust to entertaining the world from afar, a team of A-list actors and celebrities have banded together for a duet of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Imagine’, including Sia, Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jamie Dorman and Jimmy Fallon. It, uh, does not hit the reassuring notes they thought it would.
The video, shared via Gal Gadot on Instagram, was more or less immediately criticised as being tone-deaf. While the keys are pretty shaky, it’s the wealthy celebrities singing about imagining a world without possessions as they film from their massive houses that has fallen flat.
“These past few days got me feeling a bit philosophical,” Gadot says at the video’s beginning. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from. We’re all in this together.”
The celebrities who feature are: Kristen Wiig, Jamie Dornan, Labrinth, James Marsden, Sarah Silverman, Eddie Benjamin, Jimmy Fallon, Natalie Portman, Zoë Kravitz, Sia, Lynda Carter, Amy Adams, Leslie Odom Jr., Pedro Pascal, Chris O’Dowd, Dawn O’Porter, Will Ferrell, Mark Ruffalo, Norah Jones, Ashley Benson, Kaia Gerber, Cara Delevingne, Annie Mumolo, and Maya Rudolph.
While well-intended, the video features a lot of figures who are decidedly not in this with those watching, as celebrities, politicians and well-connected figures across US and the world have easy access to COVID-19 testing, unlike much of the public.
As President Trump said when questioned about it, “perhaps that’s the story of life” — and it’s a story that people don’t want to hear.
finding out about celebrities testing positive for covid like, damn, imagine being able to afford a test
— Rent Strike Scooter (@Scooter_Magnus) March 16, 2020
Then there’s the issue of wealth distribution too, with many criticising the video as a platitude at a time when many without job security need money.
“imagine— IMAGINE—having $17 million dollars and thinking that making a video clip of you singing one line of a song would help anyone,” screenwriter Sophia Benoit shared on Twitter, later estimating the net worth of celebrities featured is US $527 million.
And while we don’t know whether these celebrities are financially assisting people, there’s something pretty off about them trying to out-earnest sing lines from a song about simply imagining a better world “with no people”.
the celebrities and their publicists with that imagine video pic.twitter.com/77RDs4ShHy
— lou (@venusiarism) March 19, 2020
In short, it has not been received well. Find plenty of reactions below.
Top ten cringeist things I’ve ever seen https://t.co/f3UxGQ9zNa
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) March 19, 2020
I watched like 10 seconds of that video of celebrities singing Imagine. My skin is crawling from the cringe pic.twitter.com/rcpqYloSxo
— anna (@feelbadmovie) March 19, 2020
Wait, so in the middle of a pandemic a bunch of tone-deaf celebs all filmed themselves singing Imagine there's no people?!
— MKupperman (@MKupperman) March 19, 2020
*we need money*
*people are dying*
celebrities: no thank you. ❤️ but 🎶🎵imagine all the peopleee yehaaah living fooooOooor today 😮😲🎶🎵 pic.twitter.com/Lr2nffvYDr
— norma (@eightieswave) March 19, 2020
Guys I don't want to defect and side with the virus but if I have to watch celebrities singing Imagine as an alternative you will force my hand.
— Mike Bird (@Birdyword) March 19, 2020
bored celebrities isolated & not getting the amount of attention they're used to is going to be where the corniest and most chaotic takes/ideas are going to come from as time continues to go on
— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) March 19, 2020
A bunch of very wealthy celebrities singing “Imagine there’s no possessions/I wonder if you can/no need for greed or hunger” just isn’t landing for me rn 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/FGgm4wJPNV
— Stacy Lee Kong (@stacyleekong) March 19, 2020
I’ve been social distancing and doing all the right things but I still wound up seeing that video of the celebrities singing Imagine.
— Sean Thomason (@TheThomason) March 19, 2020
Celebrities: *singing* Imagine all the peo-
— Yannise Jean (@yjeanwrites) March 19, 2020
Everyone: "Things are crap at the moment hey"
Celebrities: "What if we all sing imagine at you"
Everyone: "Please don't"
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) March 19, 2020
Imagine a world with out patronising celebrities
its easy if you try.
— Bede Kelleher (@Bedeapk) March 19, 2020
just saw the gal gadot imagine video thing and i think it maybe ruined music for me
— UMO (@UMO) March 19, 2020
On the plus side, Sam Neil is smelling his shoes and sharing the video. Bless.
Broke: Celebrities singing John Lennon's Imagine
Woke: Sam Neill cleaning and smelling his shoe collection https://t.co/8uj7BUD2qh
— David Milner (@DaveMilbo) March 19, 2020