Almost three months after Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” pandemic unity video, the celebrities have reappeared to end racism with a front-facing supercut video. This time, they’re quite seriously channeling every last acting school muscle to convey the guilt and grief of the two weeks since George Floyd was killed by police. It’s either the latest argument that we’re leaving every celebrity behind after all of this, the funniest thing you’ll see on the internet today, or some combination of the two.
The PSA, which began to make the rounds Thursday morning on Twitter, is part of the “I Take Responsibility” campaign. Partnering with the NAACP, celebrities of varying levels of fame take their own past brushes with racism or complicity to task. Per the organization’s site, its goal is willing white people into “taking responsibility for their personal role in eradicating racism in America — taking a stand and committing to change.” There are just so many of them: Sarah Paulson, Aaron Paul, Kesha, Julianne Moore, Ilana Glazer, Justin Theroux, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Debra Messing, and many more who I didn’t recognize at first glance. (Two of those were Piper Perabo and Bethany Joy Lenz, which, how did they get here.)
Where to begin: cast in a noirish black-and-white color scheme, the celebs emote and monologue through what’s very clearly a script sitting right by the camera, as their eyes move side to side. For the most part, these people are looking rough! More so than with the “Imagine” video, our stars are disheveled, hair askew, to perhaps convey that they haven’t showered or left their homes in mourning.
The messaging itself is something of a mixed bag. “Black people are being slaughtered in the street, killed in their own homes," says an incensed Moore. "These are our brothers and sisters.” Theroux and Tucci, in particular, are tasked with pledging to not sit idly by as someone makes racially charged jokes, which...are we to believe they’re still doing that? “I will no longer allow an unchecked moment. I will no longer allow racist hurtful words, jokes, stereotypes, no matter how big or small to be uttered in my presence,” Tucci says.
But the serious prestige TV alums, Theroux and especially Paul, put in the heavy lifting as if awards are on the line. While Theroux slows down his speech to a glacial, reflective crawl, Paul turns in the most physical performance, clasping his hands against his head in the beginning. By the end, he looks close to bursting a blood vessel in his neck, nearly shouting that “killer cops must be prosecuted — they are murderers,” before reeling it back in to a hushed whisper. Weird dude.
There’s noticeably no overlap here with celebrities who appeared in the “Imagine” video, suggesting that they either learned their lesson, or that a new crop wanted to enter the arena. Nevertheless, the easiest way to prove your intentions are noble will always be shutting up and opening your checkbooks!