During this time of uncertainty and fear, everyone is in the same boat. We are all doing what we can to see this turbulent time through. Neighbors are reaching out to help neighbors, and friends and family have come closer together, both literally and physically. While social media have allowed us to highlight the good and keep in touch with those we are temporarily separated from, the good we see on our Instagram feeds does not erase the suffering of others.
On March 18 actress Gal Gadot posted a video on Instagram of herself and other celebrities singing the song “Imagine” by John Lennon, and it went viral. Immediately, the video received backlash, with many accusing the video of being inconsiderate.
The video, with most likely only the best of intentions, did the opposite of what these celebrities expected. Ironically, it did bring people together, but in an unanticipated direction.
Twitter user @pinko_snob responded to the video, tweeting, “I’ve always hated this song. ‘Imagine no possessions’ sung by some of the wealthiest people in the world.” This highlights how the choice of song was out of touch and the original message was lost.
The typical middle to lower class person has to work day to day and is struggling to make ends meet right now, waiting for their stimulus check and applying for unemployment, and some celebrities are singing rather than acting. In contrast, when it was announced that Lady Gaga had raised $35 million dollars for the World Health Organization and also organized a live stream concert titled “One World: Together at Home” to raise more money, social media users responded much more positively.
This key difference shows that the actions celebrities are taking in order to help ease others’ pains speak much louder than videos of “encouragement.” Actor John Krasinski has brightened peoples’ day with his YouTube series called “Some Good News” to highlight the good news in the world, and he has paired that with action. Recently Krasinski, along with Red Sox player David Ortiz, surprised a few Boston healthcare workers with tickets to Red Sox games for life — a small token of appreciation for those on the front lines right now.
Of course, this does not mean all celebrities are being insensitive by posting a picture of their family cooking Easter dinner paired with an encouraging caption. There are plenty who are spending their quarantine time just the same as us: staying inside, social distancing, taking the dog for a walk and playing an almost unhealthy amount of “Animal Crossing.” This is not meant to be a bashing of all celebrities. They have their millions, and to be fair, have no obligation to donate anything. But if they want to create a video singing about “a brotherhood of man,” the least they can do is also donate a few masks.