Music

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?

Celebrities sing 'imagine' as message of hope, internet tears them apart

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.

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”.

In short, it has not been received well. Find plenty of reactions below.

On the plus side, Sam Neil is smelling his shoes and sharing the video. Bless.