Thoughts on this celebrity remix of John Lennon’s Imagine
Not today Satan, not today.
Another day, another mad celebrity response to the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday we had Vanessa Hudgens apologising for accidentally advocating for eugenics, and today a whole bunch of the rich and famous have joined forces for a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
In a haunting acapella clip, Gal Gadot leads a rag-tag band of celebrities including Kristen Wiig, Jamie Dornan, Natalie Portman, Ashley Benson, Zoë Kravitz and Amy Adams among others, as they each take a line of the song.
Reactions have been… mixed. Some have RTd with emoji hearts. Others have branded the video tone deaf, boring and actually making things seem "truly worse than we thought". It is, after all, a clip posted from celebrities holed up in beautiful, secluded homes, with access to adequate healthcare and a stockpile that probably doesn’t require them to queue up at 6am outside ASDA to fight a stranger for tagliatelle. In those relatively serene surroundings, perhaps -- just perhaps! -- it’s a little easier to imagine a world where there is no pain or hunger. And perhaps a little harder to imagine a world with no possessions.
One person claimed it “ruined music” for them, while another wrote: “The Gal Gadot/others Imagine video would have been the perfect 30 Rock plot line wherein Jenna spiraled [sic] after not being asked to contribute and publicly announced that she had coronavirus for the attention.” One cultural commenter compared the video’s cursed energy to that of the movie Cats.
Sure, it's not the most sinister thing in the world (...unless?), but the past few days of increasingly out of touch reactions from the world of the rich and famous has illustrated that, rather than rushing to push content into the world which doesn’t actually help anyone, it might first be best to take some time and consider how your platform, and your millions of dollars of income, could be put to better use. Follow the example, perhaps, of coach and former footballer Gary Neville, who announced yesterday that he would be closing the hotels he co-owns with Ryan Giggs and handing the spaces over to NHS medical staff free of charge. Right now positive actions are worth more, literally, than sending positive vibes.
More explicitly, in the words of Rosa from TikTok, open your purse.