Gal Gadot organized a celebrity-cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’: cringey or fine?

Gal Gadot at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

It always kills me a little bit when John Lennon’s “Imagine” is discussed like it’s a universal song appealing to everyone. I think it’s a beautiful song, don’t get me wrong. But the lyrics are subversive as hell. “Imagine there’s no countries/It isn’t hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too…” When people sing the song, I don’t think they actually understand the politics or atheism behind Lennon’s lyrics. Anyway, Gal Gadot apparently thought it would be a good idea to get her celebrity friends to contribute to a joint version of “Imagine,” because everybody’s isolated for the coronavirus. Here it is:

Celebrities who should just release their own solo covers of “Imagine”: James Marsden (!!), Amy Adams, Zoe Kravitz, Norah Jones, Chris O’Dowd and Maya Rudolph.

Anyway, is this A) cool, B) not cool, C) bizarrely subversive, D) inappropriate for this particular pandemic moment, or E) just a massive cringe? I honestly can’t decide. Most of the comments I’ve seen on twitter is that this is a massive cringe-fest, end of. But quite honestly, I wish more celebrities were giving us content in general, both bad and good (and cringe-y and inspo and weird and everything else). You know they’re bored and trying to amuse themselves. So let’s have a celebrity sing-along for “Hey Jude” next or something.

2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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61 Responses to “Gal Gadot organized a celebrity-cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’: cringey or fine?”

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  1. Who ARE These People? says:

    Why do they think this will help?

    Hug the world.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Replying to my own comment because “Hug the World,” which I bet a lot of Celebitchies will know, is lead character Cher’s do-gooder prom theme in “Clueless.”

      • MeganBot2020 says:

        There’s no prom in Clueless (unless you mean the TV series?). Cher’s do-gooder theme is Pismo Beach Disaster Relief.

    • Emily C says:

      Hug the World is from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie). Pike 4Eva

  2. Snowslow says:

    Errr.
    1) I don’t like Gal G.
    2) I hate this song with I find cringe-worthy in and of itself
    3) I am annoyed by celebrities putting too much “”"content”"” out there
    4) total cringe-fest that I watched until the end… :-/
    5) why?

    • Mumbles says:

      Huge Beatles fan here. Lennon was a genius. But I can’t stand this song. As Elvis Costello sang, “Was it a millionaire who said, ‘Imagine no possessions’?” (And that line goes for the people participating in this stunt as much as it applies to Lennon). Moreover this song gets trotted out all the time when it’s not really appropriate. Like this time. This isn’t a war. It’s a public health crisis. Find a song about washing your hands.

      She seems like a nice person but my vote is CRINGE.

      • Jackie O'Glasses says:

        Not a huge Beatles fan, but I LOVE Elvis Costello and he is right about everything.

    • Dee says:

      Agree with all your points. This is tone deaf.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Agreed on all counts.

  3. Sayrah says:

    Cringe

    But yes James Marsden can keep singing

  4. Holly says:

    Massive cringe

  5. Marty says:

    I’ve never liked this song, so major cringe for me.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Ive never liked it either. It’s massively overrated.

    • sa says:

      I’ve also never liked it, I’m usually all alone on that.

    • BorderMollie says:

      I adore the song, but still major cringe. I made it seven seconds in and had to stop.

    • Mia4s says:

      God I feel so seen! I’ve never liked this song and being involved in music all through school it was part of the choir repertoire like every two years! My people, I have found you!

      It’s not harmful, just dumb. I shrugged.

  6. My3cents says:

    At least she didn’t lick an airplane toilet, yeah that’s the bar now.

  7. Sam says:

    Completely tone deaf. Literally and figuratively speaking.

    Imagine seeing other celebrities donating to their food banks or donating supplies and you decide that organizing this mess was the way to go in order to help people out during this difficult time.

    • SJR says:

      Sam, Agree 100%

      Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively donated $1Million to food organizations.
      Why are more wealthy/celebs not doing the same?
      Start giving and publicize it all you want to, but do something more than cheap talk.

      • Sam says:

        Ciara and Russell Wilson have donated 1 million meals to the Seattle food bank. Ayesha and Steph Curry also donated to the Oakland food bank.

        I know some might say that “maybe they donated but don’t want anyone to know.” My response is that if you can take part in that cringe fest of a video, surely we’d have known they donated as well.

  8. Whatsinaname says:

    They got dragged by everyone for this. I mean….this is the wrong sentiment right now when people are scared they are going to run out of food, some have lost their jobs, others are sick, or have symptoms and can’t get tested. I want to slap people.

    • el says:

      What is the wrong sentiment, exactly? I’m quite shocked by the response. Lyrics are “subversive”? They are pretty explicit. People don’t understand politics or atheism? Or perhaps they like the song because they do? How many songs with religious undertones are atheists supposed to swallow as “unifying”? Pledge of allegiance, anyone?
      At the same time, the song is gentle, it’s not “bring down your government”, it’s “imagine”. What’s wrong with imagining that countries and religions don’t exist to gain more empathy for fellow human beings regardless of their nationality and faith? In our day, when the president is screaming “Chinese virus”, you think it’s the “wrong” sentiment?

      • Whatsinaname says:

        Because singing this song right now is totally tone deaf and also this sucks.

      • Dee says:

        This is tone deaf as hell. Especially the song lyrics sung by the organiser of this cringe fest

      • sa says:

        I agree with you @el.

        I don’t like this song, I never have, but I also can’t get on board with this being anything other than some celebrities trying to put something positive and unifying into the world. (maybe they succeeded in that people are unifying in hating it?).

        But a lot of people are home and reminders that we’re not alone are a good thing.

        There is no question that people need financial help and that will only get worse, but “social distancing” has real potential to turn this into a mental health crisis as well, anything and everything that people are trying to help people feel connected is a positive.

      • el says:

        @sa, exactly, thank you for giving it some thought instead of emphatically repeating that it’s tone deaf.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Massive cringe. One post on Twitter summed it up perfectly:

    Regular people: How will I pay my bills?

    Celebrities: Let’s sing Imagine

    And that pretty much sums up how I feel about this. It’s massively tone deaf. You want to impress me? Donate your money to help buy tests which are widely UNAVAILABLE to regular folks.

    • el says:

      Is it a choice? Did singing this song prevent them from donating? Did they spend millions producing it or too much time singing? I don’t understand this false dichotomy.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Did this song magically do anything to make people’s lives better in a measurable way?? Im sorry you don’t understand, but most people who watched this feel the way I do. It served no purpose other than to make those participating FEEL like they contributed something.

      • el says:

        It never claimed to do any of that. Art rarely makes people’s lives better in a MEASURABLE way, but it makes people’s lives immeasurably better. This may not be the finest example of art, but if it made someone more hopeful for a second, where’s the harm? Even if, as you claim, without proof, that “most” people feel it didn’t. A lot of musicians are giving concerts that do not make anyone’s lives better in measurable ways. Do you diss them all? Just because Willie Nelson may not be my cup of tea, doesn’t mean someone somewhere didn’t enjoy it.

    • Christina says:

      Agreed 100%, VV.

      Maybe I’m just old, but I don’t need celebrity content like this. I definitely enjoy the curated celebrity content on Celebitchy and a few of my fav blogs, but actors are so extra. When they aren’t making movies or working on plays they want to entertain. It’s what they know how to do, and it’s grating during a pandemic when everyone is stuck at home in our less luxurious places, watching them pass the time. Tone deaf. Donate money to the less fortunate. Entertain us that way.

    • wanton says:

      In Gal’s case, there are literally thousands of people living under apartheid and inhumane conditions, dying daily, in her own country. This is offensive because it has no follow through, there’s absolutely nothing actionable through this video but celebrities able to pat themselves on the back while ignoring day-to-day (i.e. “normal” tragedies) suffering. Now, Covid-19 is definitely a unique and present threat, so not equating, but just saying…it has presented a particular brand of charitable performance on the part of some.

  10. MangoAngel says:

    It’s incredibly cringey, yes.

    But I don’t know that it’s fair to say they haven’t done anything to actually help. Just because people don’t advertise “I gave a million dollars, aren’t I great?” type things doesn’t mean they haven’t donated. I always find it a bit tacky when celebrities post mid-crisis about the dollar figure they’ve given.

    After the fact, okay, whatever. But during? That seems as tone deaf as singing a song. Plus it sets them up for all the “You’re worth $50 million and you only donated $1 million?? Selfish!” type comments.

    • Sam says:

      Imagine thinking donating money and telling people about it in order to encourage others who have the means to do so as well during a crisis is tacky and tone deaf but seeing a bunch of rich celebs sing Imagine from their mansions during a global pandemic isn’t.

      • MangoAngel says:

        Not once did I say donating money and telling people in order to encourage them to do the same is tone deaf. I simply said that when people start talking dollar figures, it can be cringey, just like this whole singalong is.

        Which I also said was cringey (first sentence I wrote, actually), but no, I don’t see it as problematic. When Lin Manuel Miranda dropped a new Hamilton song on Instagram as a quarantine-boredom-alleviator, it was awesome. This is basically the same kind of thing, just not as creative or interesting.

  11. Texas says:

    I love the song but not appropriate for what is going on. We don’t want to imagine those things right now! I do like the people who sang it though. I just wish they had picked a different song. It’s generally cool but rather than be uplifting right now, it feels macabre.

  12. Laalaa says:

    Wow, such cynicism.
    The lyric “no countries” you mentioned – it means Imagine we don’t divide and judge ourselves based on the country we are from.
    People look up to celebrities. If this brings joy to anyone, their job is done.
    And here I am defending John Lennon withour even being a John Lennon fan.

    • Christina says:

      Laalaa, there is an audience. They are pleasing somebody. Not me, but their fans must love it.

  13. Case says:

    I think it’s well-intentioned and totally fine? We don’t know that they haven’t also donated money or food or whatever. They just did something to maybe make people who are fans of these particular celebrities happy. There’s absolutely no harm in that.

    • Lee says:

      We don’t know that they haven’t also donated money or food or whatever.

      I agree on this. Not every celeb likes to parade their charity. George Michael did a ton of charity stuff and it was revealed only after he passed away, if I recall correctly.
      Some do it silently, some other pimp it. That said, it is good to see famous rich and privileged people return a bit of the luck they had.

  14. Charfromdarock says:

    Cringe. I mean it’s not Vanessa Hudgens level of inappropriateness but it’s still not great.

    Thousand of people have died. Thousands more will die. It’s an international health crisis that will impact everyone of us for years.

    Rich people having a singalong safe in their mansions just seems so tone deaf.

  15. Eliza_ says:

    Across the Universe would have been better and easier for many to sing.

    Granted the whole thing is cringe and unnecessary and just people showing they’re famous and can “sing” (James can ok). They should have set it up to donating $1 for every comment or something. Granted musicians are giving free concerts, but maybe because it’s their profession it feels less gimicky?

  16. nicegirl says:

    It’s ok. I appreciate the sentiment of the endeavor if not the execution and delivery. I’m all for positivity rn.

    I don’t idolize Beatles tunes, I croon. To anything I like. A troubadour for life!! Lol

  17. Hi says:

    I still don’t like Jamie Dornan

    • Valerie says:

      lol, I still need to watch the last season of The Fall. I don’t really like him either, but he does creepy well.

  18. Valerie says:

    Not fine. Waste of time.

  19. MeganBot2020 says:

    It’s a sweet idea, the problem is a lot of them just can’t sing for toffee.

  20. Yesmeen says:

    The audacity of her singing this is astounding – especially in the fact that she’s a Zionist. She has condoned the terrible crimes of the Israeli state for years, and now she’s singing about imagining a world with no war or violence? Forget the cringe aspect, this is coming from a person who was a solider in the Israeli army and still promotes them on her social media. She needs to be called out on that.

  21. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    Deleted? I steeled myself to watch (James Marsden really) and it says unavailable. Guess they were listening.

  22. Sam the Pink says:

    Yeah, this is stupid on many levels.

    People are already pulling together. There are already groups forming of people volunteering to buy groceries for the vulnerable. The healthcare workers, first responders, etc. who are putting their lives on the line. I have more respect for the billionaires who are putting up their own money to make sure their employees keep getting paid. We don’t need a song to tell us to take care of each other. Instead of singing, why not pool their copious funds into a pool for individuals getting laid off or furloughed over this? Start with the airline and hospitality workers, because it’s hitting them first.

  23. Jules says:

    tone deaf and major cringe.

  24. Babadook says:

    This is a new bar for tone deaf celebrity “good deeds”. Stop singing about no possessions from your mansions thinking it’ll make any difference to the minimum wage workers who have to go out and serve people in the middle of a pandemic because they can’t afford not to. I’m sure the intention was good, but I’d much rather it was some kind of ‘sing a line, donate some money’ to help those who need it right now situation.

  25. Flffgrrrrlr says:

    🤢🤢🤢🤢 do not wish to keep hearing this on the news.

  26. Trish-a says:

    It made me irrationally angry. I want it to go away and stop popping up in my feed. Unless celebrities are donating something they need to stfu.

  27. Charfromdarock says:

    British comedians made a video in response:

    https://www.instagram.com/tv/B97gcK3hy5L/?igshid=b8epa4102nd2

  28. Playingthemarket says:

    Most Beatles songs are sacchrine to a grating level. Gal is corny, like her acting is very corny and always the same, but she’s a perfect Wonder Woman.

  29. JBolivar says:

    I’m always a late commenter, I’m a social media sloth. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, as a break in other more vital things that are overwhelming me. I’ve been thinking the things I reach for to de-stress, that a lot of us do: binging Netflix or prime or Hulu, reading, art – consuming these peoples output. It does provide me comfort in this time, their output has been one of the essential components of my sanity right now. This doesn’t deny that the video was tone deaf, but I think it possible it came from a place good intention and naivete? Both things are simultaneously true. I understand now that Gal Godats politics tarnish her action, make her actions more insulting. I feel less malice towards the rest; more anger towards politicians whose non/actions are affecting us, whose reluctance to lead and set front-line example will impact every level of my life. But however goofy the rest of people in video, im grateful for their movies, shows, their creativity and goofiness; i dont idolize them, though, but they provide something necessary. If they really want to show humanity, tho, following up vid w donations or real help.