Let’s take a look back one year after the infamous Gal Gadot “Imagine” video.
As we dredge through our third lockdown and enviously watch the elderly get vaccinated, it feels as though our first days of lockdown were a lifetime ago. If you throw your mind back to March of 2020, when Covid-19 had just begun to seep into Ireland and the lockdown was just a new novelty that gave us an excuse to work from home and not wear pants.
While the world tried to tackle the virus and come to terms with living in the midst of a global pandemic one women and her merry band of famous and wealthy friends decided things needed to be worse.
One year ago today, taking time off from saving the world in films like The Justice League and Wonder Woman, actress Gal Gadot unloaded her infamous ‘Imagine‘ video upon the world.
For the lucky few that have never seen it, or those who have simply erased it from their memory feast your eyes upon this!
Gadot pulled in the big guns for this makeshift rendition of the iconic John Lennon song. Each singing a line of the song, this three-minute beast featured A-listers like Will Ferrell, Mark Ruffalo, Natalie Portman and Amy Adams to name a few.
Before we go on, I think it important to note while the video is completely out of touch, narcissistic, shallow and an all-around attack on the senses, you could say Gadot had her heart in the right place. The lockdown and covid had left people feeling scared and isolated. If one was to try to pull a positive from the video, you could say Gadot wanted to reach out and try to cheer up those suffering. However, on the list of ways to help your fellow citizens, a haphazard rendition of a song featuring rich people in their luxury homes is probably down the list alongside slapping everyone in the face.
Nice part over, back to the honesty.
The first thing to note is the eye-rolling caption, “We are in this together. We will get through it together. Let’s imagine together. Sing with us ❤ All love to you, from me and my dear friends #WeAreOne”. Which is a nice sentiment but I for one had not seen Gadot or her friends helping me stress bake banana bread for the thousandth time while attempting to forget the life taking plague rambling the country like a lost American tourist.
The video itself opens with Gadot looking reflective while informing the audience that she has been self-isolating for a whopping six days. During this eternity, Gadot remarks feeling ‘philosophical’. Many viewers at this point surely began to wonder what deep wisdom our Wonder Woman was about to unleash.
Gadot then proceeds to sing “Imagine there’s no Heaven” and grins into camera like she knows a secret about you she won’t share. Followed by a disgruntled looking Kirstin Wiig who sounds like she is recording beside the dual carriage way.
The full atrocity of the video is realised when Jamie Doran pops up. Looking like he has just hopped out of the shower and not entirely sure what is happening Doran croaks his line. The slow downhill trip this video was is now gaining more momentum than my neighbour’s car that one time he forgot to put the handbrake on at the top of the road. We could all see it was going to end in a wreck but couldn’t look away.
The pound shop version of Band-Aid continues its downhill spiral with some A-listers, B-listers and even a few who-the-hell-are-you-listers. The attack is relentless. Each passing celebrity with their bizarre singing styles and insincere nature gets harder and harder to view. A lie down or quick cry is needed in order to get to the end.
A medal of honour should be awarded to those unfortunate souls who braved the full extent of the video.
Within 24 hours of being released into the digital world, the video had accumulated an outstanding 4 million views. It currently sits with nearly 10.5 million. After exploding onto the scene the video was met with increased criticism and mocking.
Many remarked that these overly pampered and lavish living rich people could not begin to understand or relate to normal people. For context, Gadot herself owns multiple properties including a $5 million Malibu penthouse. It is hard to compare that to living in a 4 bedroom house with your siblings, parents and pets. Some viewers even commented that instead of contributing this empty gesture that these millionaires should donate money or resources to those struggling.
You can’t pay rent with a video of Hollywoods hottest destroying an iconic song.
I for one do not live in a million-dollar mansion and do not have the luxury of not worrying about how to financially support myself. The video felt like an act of solidarity for the rich and a spit in the face for the poor.
Another question myself and many viewers were left with was “why this song?”. Lennon’s ballad is a humanist anthem that basically quotes the Communist Manifesto. Were there subtle communist undertones to the video you might ask? No there wasn’t, it just sounds like a deep meaningful song which is why Gadot probably decided to use it.
That is the true issue here. The video is a surface level attempt at helping. It is true slacktivism at work. It does not help, cheer people up or support the world in any way. It is the equivalent of trying to mend the Titanic with a Barney The Dinosaur plaster. These people genuinely believed they were helping. It just shows how out of touch and disconnected from reality Hollywood stars are. The video is and always will be an awful reminder of how those better off do not understand the struggles of the average Joe.
Now, I am in no way saying that Gal Gadot committed some sort of war crime here by making and unleashing her beast onto the public but according to Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health” is prohibited.
Now that we are a year on from this catastrophe it is somewhat funny to look back at the event and joke about the time Gal Gadot tried to save the world. Yet, the bitter taste of these rich do-gooders and their video lingers in the mouths of everyone who is still struggling to live and survive during the pandemic.
I will leave you with my favourite piece of content to come out of this fiasco. The brilliantly talented John Mayer released this video in the days after Gadot’s. Mayer wanted to let us know why he was not in the Imagine video. I will let him explain the rest!
You’re spot on. I really enjoyed reading your take on this infamous viral video. Seems a year out isn’t quite long enough to fully forget