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Chris O’Dowd admits backlash to celebrity Imagine cover was ‘justified’ as he brands it ‘the thing we didn’t need’

Chris O’Dowd has described the star-studded cover version of Imagine released at the start of lockdown as “the thing we didn’t need that everybody hated.”

The actor, 40, took part in a lo-fi rendition of John Lennon’s classic track along with celebrities including Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Kirsten Wiig and Jimmy Fallon.

The stars took turns to each sing a section of the song in video clips recorded from their homes in an attempt to lift spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the gesture was instead viewed as tone deaf by many social media users, some of whom criticised the celebrities for failing to use their combined platforms and wealth in a more tangibly beneficial way during the global health crisis.

Gal Gadot and celeb friends sing ‘Imagine’ during coronavirus self-isolation

Looking back on the cover version during an appearance on Louis Theroux’s Grounded podcast, O’Dowd conceded that the backlash was “justified” and suggested that it was part of a “first wave of creative diarrhoea” during the early stages of lockdown.

He revealed that he had been approached to take part by his Bridesmaids co-star Wiig and had “presumed it was for kids.”

“In terms of my interpretation of it, I think the backlash was justified,” he told Theroux.

O’Dowd admitted that the backlash was ‘justified’ (PA Images So TV)

“I’ll do anything Kristen asks me to do so, of course, we just did it. It took five minutes, didn’t think about it. I presumed it was for kids.”

He added: “We were in that first wave of creative diarrhoea that seemed to encase the whole world.”

O’Dowd went on to suggest that the participants had “just needed to chill out and take everything in” before describing the cover as “the thing we didn’t need that everybody hated.”

Dornan has also spoken out about the Imagine backlash, admitting that Wiig later texted him to apologise for asking him to take part.

“Kristen texted two days before that came out, ‘My friend Gal and I are trying to organise this thing to lift people’s spirits,’” he told the Tea with Me podcast in April.

“I thought it was a lovely thing to do. Kirsten said, ‘This is great, whatever happens, happens.’ And then she texted a couple of days later saying, ‘Sorry.’


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