Grace says 'We Exist' video has 'literally no signs' of transgender culture
Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace has renewed her criticism of Arcade Fire‘s video for ‘We Exist’, which stars Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield as a transgender woman getting beaten up at a bar.
Grace initially criticised the video on Twitter, commenting that the band should have hired a genuine transgender actor for the video, “rather than Spider-Man”. The video can be seen below.
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler wrote ‘We Exist’ after meeting gay people in Jamaica who felt it necessary to hide their sexuality. He defended the video, telling The Advocate: “For a gay kid in Jamaica seeing Spider-Man in that role is pretty damn powerful.”
But Grace rejected Butler’s defence. In a series of tweets, which she has since deleted, Grace wrote: “The implication that a homeless Jamaican LGBT youth living in a sewer is going to feel empowerd because a cis, straight white male actor from movies they can’t afford to see is in a music video they’ll never watch? That’s so wtf?”
Grace added that her main problem with the video was that it stereotyped transgender culture. She wrote: “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.”
The singer added that she was an Arcade Fire fan and hailed ‘The Suburbs’ as “a perfect album”. But she continued: “If the song was called anything else, I wouldn’t have even had a problem with it. But it’s called ‘We Exist’ and there is literally no signs of that existence represented. It should have been called ‘They Exist’.”
Arcade Fire headline the Friday night of Glastonbury on June 27 and Barclaycard British Summer Time at Hyde Park on July 3, as well as shows at London’s Earls Court on June 6-7.