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Arcade Fire Responds To Criticism For Having Andrew Garfield In Drag For We Exist's Music Video!

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayMusic MinuteAndrew GarfieldLGBT

andrew garfield coachella we exist

Not everyone has been in love with Andrew Garfield's inclusion in Arcade Fire's music video for We Exist.

Among others, Singer and guitarist for Against Me! Laura Jane Grace has criticized the Reflektor band for not reflekting more on their casting decision and deciding to use a Trans actor instead of Andrew:

Meanwhile, Arcade Fire's frontman Win Butler has responded in kind, saying that he wanted to use Andrew for empowering purposes:

"There was just so much thought and love that went into the video I don't personally see it as negative. I can totally see the sensitivity of the issue…For a gay kid in Jamaica to see the actor who played Spider-Man in that role is pretty damn powerful, in my opinion."

In addition, David Wilson, the director of what we think is a very moving music video, said that they decided against using a transgender person due to Andrew's commitment.

"Before I got on the call, I thought, 'Is this the right person - should we be using a transgender person?' But then getting on the phone with Andrew, and Andrew's commitment and passion toward the project was just overwhelming."

In fact, here's what Our Lady J, Andrew's coach for the music video and transgender musician, had to say on his inclusion in the video:

In response to Win, Laura responded on Twitter in a series of tweets that have since been taken down. Here were her thoughts:

“This article is hella problematic. To start with there’s the fact that Win says ’he’ and Wilson says ’she’… the implication that a homeless Jamaican LGBT youth living in a sewer is going to feel empowered because… a cis, straight white male actor in movies they can’t afford to see stars in a music video they’ll never watch? That’s so like wtf?… My main problem with the video isn’t even casting it’s stereotyping. Like why does Garfield cry about shaving their head to then put on a wig when they have gorgeous hair? Why does Garfield go to the shittiest bar ever to drink domestic beer and dance with bigot rednecks? And the idea that the band playing Coachella is their Mecca of acceptance and validation. Phfff. As if. If the song was called anything else I wouldn’t have even had a problem with it it’s called ’We Exist’ and there is literally no signs of that existence represented. Should have been called ’They Exist’.”

That's a pretty scathing rant!

However, she was persuaded to rethink her argument after talking with Our Lady J, and learning of her part in helping Andrew in the music video:

Some really complicated issues being discussed here, but in the end, we think Andrew did a beautiful job in the music video, and that the direction of the music video had a positive message about acceptance in the end.

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5 comments to “Arcade Fire Responds To Criticism For Having Andrew Garfield In Drag For We Exist's Music Video!”

  1. Alien says – reply to this


    That is like saying only straight actors can play straight characters or gay actors should only play gay characters. Equality and acceptance works both ways. Anyone should be able to play anyone if they are a good actor.

  2. 2

    Maybe Laura Jane Grace is just plain stupid ?

  3. fid says – reply to this


    Equality should work both ways, why must they use a trans actor? I thought the LGBT community was fighting for EQUALITY, not your way or the highway? Instead of berating those who are trying to help the movement along, perhaps you should be thankful that those that aren't within your community are trying to spread the message to the general public. This crap is annoying. Be accepting and positive, there are tougher battles to fight and this is not one of them. A-hole.

  4. 4

    What about that 30 seconds to mars guy?
    He played a tranny, and he was really good at it, gave him an oscar.
    So where is the outcry for that?

  5. Martha says – reply to this


    This is like someone complaining about NPH being in a straight role on How I Met Your Mother. We finally have a highly influential young actor willing to take a risk in his career to promote tolerance and I think it's inspiring. So many children look up to Andrew now as Spider-Man and him being in this video will really spin a positive message to his young fans.

    It's really disappointing to see that we really can't win with the LGBT community these days. With everyone preaching straight tolerance these days it's amazing to see a great example of it get shot down so quickly. Just accept the support you receive don't complain about it. Plus I don't think this video would have gotten half as much spin if an unknown trans gender actor was in it. Andrew is high profile and it's intriguing to watch such a masculine actor in such a role because that's the reality, anyone, even a masculine man like Andrew could feel like his character does, it should not be limited to openly trans individuals only.