The internet is absolutely dragging W Magazine for a “painful to watch” tribute to David Bowie starring Zendaya that feels like Gen Z’s version of Gal Gadot’s extremely cringeworthy “Imagine” video from 2020.
Earlier today the publication shared a video on their Insta featuring icons Zendaya (Euphoria, Spider-Man: No Way Home), Willow Smith, and Kiernan Shipka (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) performing Bowie’s “Changes” to celebrate what would have been the late legendary singer’s 75th birthday.
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And, looking at the savage reactions in the comments, nobody seems happy with it. Several are calling out the fact the three stars appear to be reading the lyrics off a piece of paper – with Zendaya straight up holding it in several frames – instead of knowing the lyrics off by heart like a legit Bowie fan.
That observation not only makes the clip feel especially rough but makes you wonder whether Z, Willow and Kiernan are really Bowie fans at all. I mean, you’d think that the mag would get people who actually know the lyrics for something as big as a tribute to the singer’s birthday, right? Honestly, it really feels like executives in a boardroom picked a bunch of names of Gen Z celebs in a hat and this is the result.
Others have brought up the general cringeworthy vibe of this performance and the fact the traditionally talented trio appear to be singing out of key and out of sync with each other.
“Y’all didn’t even give them a key to sing in huh,” wrote one fan, as others drew comparisons to it and Gadot’s infamously nail-biting video.
One comment, which has the most likes right now, goes as far as saying that “Bowie is lucky that he is dead and can’t see this”. Another added: “This is so insulting to David Bowie, on his birthday of all days.”
That’s a bit harsh but I do have to say that even though I love every single one of these queens, this video does none of them any justice.
W Magazine and representatives for Zendaya, Willow Smith and Kiernan Shipka have not publicly responded to the backlash from this video.