In this op-ed, entertainment features editor Gabe Bergado unpacks his thoughts on Gal Gadot's celebrity "Imagine" video.
While many of us have spent the time inside quarantining filming TikToks or refining our cooking skills, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot found another way to preoccupy her time: hitting up all her famous buds in Hollywood for a cover of “Imagine” by John Lennon. Featuring Zoë Kravitz, Natalie Portman, Ashley Benson, Kaia Gerber, Cara Delevigne (those last three have been apparently quarantining together), and more, Gal’s intro and the snippets of singing were edited together for a three-minute video that apparently was made to help inspire a bunch of us other cooped-up people (in much smaller houses).
Gal opens up the video: “Day six in self-quarantine, and I got to say that these past few days got me feeling a bit philosophical. You know, this virus has affected the entire world. Everyone. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, we’re all in this together. I saw this video of this Italian guy playing a trumpet from his balcony to all the other people locked inside their homes. He was playing ‘Imagine’ and there was something so powerful and pure about this video. It goes like this.”
Right off the bat, I’ve got questions. All these celebs singing in front of lush trees and greenery, are these your backyards? Was each celeb assigned which line they had to sing? Or did they all have to do the entire song and Gal just chose where they sounded best? Did Gal personally make this in iMovie or was it her publicist? Why, as a society, are we not letting James Marsden sing more considering his vocal moment in this compilation and his performance in the iconic Hairspray? Oh and yes, just generally... why?
To be fair, these celebs either a) felt like they had to do this because Gal asked them to or b) really thought that this would help inspire the world during a global pandemic over coronavirus. But frankly, it feels a bit disjointed and out of place considering how grim things are.
As of Thursday morning, there are reportedly at least 8,732 deaths across the world and nearly 230,000 cases. In the United States, there have been at least 147 deaths so far. Economies and cities are shutting down, putting many people out of work and unable to afford basic necessities such as food — thankfully, mutual aid efforts have spawned to help those in need. President Donald Trump and the White House have continually used racist and xenophobic rhetoric when referring to COVID-19.
Perhaps the fatal flaw to this “Imagine” video is how earnest it attempts to be. Gal would like to say that “we’re all in this together,” but in many ways, we’re not. Case in point, while the general public has inadequate access to testing for the disease, many celebrities and famous people appear to have not faced this hurdle. This is less about these celebs themselves, but about the lack of infrastructure and response by our government to keep people safe.
The past week as people’s anxieties have skyrocketed, perhaps the relief doesn’t come from celebs crooning into a phone camera about imagining a world with no possessions or as one, but from them being just as unhinged and honest as the rest of us. This is why something like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato doing an Instagram Live together is so enthralling to watch. Or JoJo changing the lyrics to “Leave (Get Out)” to “Chill (Stay In).” Or Hilary Duff angrily telling people to “go home, we’re in a pandemic.”
It’s a weird and dark time. Let’s acknowledge that.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue