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Cast your minds back, if you can, to the beginning of lockdown: a time when the days of uncertainty stretched ahead of us and our only solace was the thought that we were all in it together.
At least, we thought we were all in it together until two days later a bunch of rich celebrities – led by Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot – told us we were by singing John Lennon’s Imagine from their mansions – a reminder that our lives couldn’t be any more different.
Now, it seems the celebrities are at it again, this time with a new video in which they are taking responsibility for their white privilege in the wake of worldwide protests following the death of George Floyd – something that has led many to criticise them yet again for wildly missing the mark.
The celebrity-studded video, part of the ‘I Take Responsibility‘ campaign – which is partnering with the NAACP to get white people to recognise their own harmful actions and take a stand against them – features ‘influential voices from the white community [taking] responsibility for turning the racist tide in America’.
Starring celebrities such as Sarah Paulson, Kesha, Justin Theroux, Kristen Bell and Aaron Paul, the black and white video shows each one looking into the camera and saying, ‘I take responsibility’, before explaining a time they may have ignored racial justice.
‘I take responsibility,’ Julianne Moore says in the video. ‘Black people are being slaughtered in the streets, killed in their own homes. These are our brothers and sisters.’ The video then sees the other A-list celebrities vowing to do better, starting with the phrase: ‘I will not allow…’
Posting the video to social media, Moore wrote: ‘Today, #ITakeResponsibility for my role in eradicating racism in America. Unless white America acknowledges its privilege, systemic racism will persist. Act Now. What will you commit to?’
Immediately after the Hollywood actor shared the video online though, people began criticising it for its overly dramatic delivery, describing it as ‘cringe-inducing’ and asking why the stars were trying to make the ongoing situation all about themselves.
While one person commented, ‘There are few things more cringe-inducing than mega-rich white celebrities prostrating themselves in polished, scripted paroxysms of white guilt,’ another simply wrote: ‘Thank you for my daily dose of unadulterated CRINGE.’
Others jokingly compared it to the Imagine video, with one person writing: ‘Today, #ITakeResponsibility by imagining a better world. Sing along with me, and IMAGINE.’ Another said: ‘This is worse than the “Imagine” cover but also funnier.’
Some did praise the celebrities for making an effort and for trying to do their bit, but it seems the overwhelming feeling was just for them to, ‘Ugh. Stop already.‘
Sorry guys, better luck next time.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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