What Is the Real Message Behind Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” Video?
Inspirational or out of touch?
Many of us are on around day six of social distancing, and while some of us are waiting on toilet paper to be restocked, others—like actor Gal Gadot—have decided that what the world needs now is a good old fashioned celebrity sing-a-long. On March 18, the Wonder Woman actor took to Instagram Live to share a video of herself and several of her famous friends singing a cover of John Lennon’s 1971 hit song “Imagine.” In the video, Gadot says that being at home under quarantine has “got [her] feeling philosophical,” and, was inspired by videos of people in Spain and France singing or playing instruments on their balcony.
“This virus has affected the entire world,” Gadot said in the video. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, but we’re all in this together.” Which…sounds familiar.
Honestly, I wish they’d just played Ashley Tisdale’s High School Musical TikTok video. Because Gadot proceeded to launch into Lennon’s song, accompanied by celebs like Amy Adams, Jimmy Fallon, Mark Ruffalo, Kristen Wiig and Zoë Kravitz (Zoë, you’re better than this!), and it’s…not great.
Not to be dramatic, but this does not make me want to live.
While I’m sure Gadot and her celebrity pals’ hearts were in the right place, honestly this video is the last thing we needed to lift our spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s why.
First of all, this “Imagine” video is super cringe-y
Let’s just get it out of the way. This sing-a-long is not good. There is nothing I personally hate more than people who aren’t singers, or who just can’t sing well, earnestly trying to sound good as they belt out “Life Is a Highway.” So as you can imagine (pun intended), this video is my nightmare. While I have to give props to some of the celebs for flexing relatively impressive pipes (who knew Jamie Dornan can sort of hold a tune?), overall this is just…too much.
And honestly, because it feels like the celebs are doing the most when it comes to straining their vocal cords, the entire video just comes across as super corny.
Celebrities can be the corniest people alive and it is our right to laugh at them
— Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) March 19, 2020
Which I’m sure is not what those involved were going for.
And seriously out of touch
But another part of what makes this all so cringe-worthy is the fact that it’s so painfully out of touch with what’s going on, and with what IRL people actually need. Just like Vanessa Hudgens hopping onto Instagram Live to pretty much shrug at people dying, the last thing people in crisis need is a three-minute video of millionaires doing an earnest sing-a-long. Because again, people are actually dying and losing their jobs and struggling to get medical attention. What they really need are more resources, access to testing and ways to help with their mental health during social distancing. And I’m sorry but, IMO, while it might be intending to, this video doesn’t really help with any of those. Something that would have been super helpful? If they took a cue from celebs like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds or Ciara and Russell Wilson, and donated to organizations helping those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Don’t get us wrong, inspiration is *incredibly* important right now, and we love seeing videos of regular people doing what they can to cheer people up during these super tough times. But seeing rich people sing about having no possessions is not inspiring.
Not to mention, it’s also also kind of hypocritical, considering it’s exactly their monetary privilege that allows them to not only social distance in what I can only assume is extreme comfort, but remain out of work with financial security and access to testing that *a lot* of regular people who are symptomatic don’t even have.
Also? They forgot to include Seth Rogen who, TBH, would have made this video at least a teeny tiny bit more bearable.
So insulted I wasn’t asked to be a part of this.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) March 19, 2020
Not to mention, the Gal Gadot “Imagine” video is kind of condescending
Listen, we understand that the intention behind the video was to lift spirits. Gadot even mentioned in the beginning of the video that she was inspired by videos of a man playing the trumpet from his balcony in order to bring people together. But am I the only one who finds the idea of a bunch of celebrities thinking that singing badly at us via Instagram would help solve our troubles pretty condescending? Like, here, let me, a famous person, sing for these commoners a little. What a nice treat!
The whole reason those videos of people singing from their balconies together during quarantine is so uplifting is the fact that it’s an example of people coming together in solidarity and forging a connection despite being ioslated. People playing instruments on their balconies, John Legend and Chris Martin holding digital concerts where they actually interact with fans and local gyms streaming free workouts for their patrons are all heartening because they’re examples of people using their skills to give back and help people cope in a real, tangible way.
I’m just not *exactly* sure what I’m supposed to take from this video, that celebs also aren’t wearing makeup during quarantine?
And it seems like maybe just a way for celebs to feel good about themselves
I understand that especially during times of crisis, it’s easy to feel helpless and like there’s nothing you can do to make a difference. And this video may have made those involved feel like they were helping in some small way. But just throwing a video at fans, with no interaction with them otherwise and no known commitment to donating resources, kind of makes it feel like the video is just for the sake of those making it; a way for celebs to feel good about themselves, having done something to help lift spirits, regardless of whether or not it’s what people actually want or need.
"Imagine" if celebrities came together to donate money/resources to people actually need it
I wonder if they can :)
— Caroline Darya Framke (@carolineframke) March 19, 2020
So thank you Gal Gadot and friends, but I think I’ll stick to my John Legend livestream. Or perhaps your next song should be an acapella version of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry?”