Welcome to Hell: White Celebrities Making Bad Art About George Floyd Edition

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Welcome to Hell: White Celebrities Making Bad Art About George Floyd Edition
Screenshot: (Instagram)

Man, I really thought that the NYU Tisch dean who responded to student demands for tuition payback by twirling to R.E.M. over Zoom had Worst Interpretive Dance of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the bag, but I think Heather Morris might’ve swiped the prize out from under her.

The Glee alum slash erstwhile “Single Ladies” backup dancer shared a video of an original dance piece on her Instagram this weekend, titling the piece “George Floyd” after the Minnesota man whose death at the hands of Minneapolis cops on Monday sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

I might not be Mrs. Dance Critic, but this piece—which begins with Morris staring straight to camera for over half a minute as tears well up in her eyes—is pretty bad, right? I mean, all I’m getting from it is that Floyd’s death and the resulting unrest makes Morris feel bad. Surely, one of the last things we need right now is white artists making art about how anti-Black violence makes white people feel.

Morris isn’t the only white celebrity trying to creatively capitalize on the protests right now to truly clueless ends. During his United at Home fundraiser live stream on Saturday, David Guetta debuted “a special record” dedicated to Floyd. “This record is in honor of George Floyd,” said the French DJ, who then went on to make empty, nebulous calls for “more unity” and other meaningless platitutdes. “Shout out to his family,” Guetta concluded.

Instead of making bad art about their feelings, perhaps celebrities like Morris and Guetta could put their creative capacities to better use and organize something more directly, materially impactful—maybe like what visual artists Juliana Huxtable and Hannah Black have done with the Covid-19 Bailout Fundraiser, which mobilized New York’s artist community to raise tens of thousands of dollars to bail people out of covid-infested jails over the past few weeks.

Just a thought!

If organizing’s not their specialty, celebrities can always simply use their vast wealth to support people on the ground who do know what they’re doing.

Chrissy Teigen, for example, has promised to donate $200,000 to bailout funds across the country in order to help get the protesters who were arrested at the nationwide uprisings out of jail as soon as possible.

In a word? Love! More of this please!

  • In other celebrity protest news, a cop hit Kendrick Sampson, who plays Nathan on Insecure, with rubber bullets at Saturday’s protest in Los Angeles. [Variety]
  • Police officers rushed John Cusack at Chicago’s protest, striking his bike with batons. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Lady Gaga called Donald Trump a racist fool who’s “fueling a system that is already rooted in racism” in an Instagram post. [Hollywood Life]
  • Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown has apologized for saying the N-word on Instagram Live, pledging that from here on out she “will be a part of the solution.” [People]
  • And finally, uh… I think David and Victoria Beckham are getting scared!! The two are reportedly adding an “escape tunnel” underneath their $8 million Cotswolds mansion. [Page Six]
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