A video of DJ David Guetta making a bold statement about racial justice resurfaced on Twitter last week, starting a new round of ridicule.
The moment: The Grammy-winning dance music icon performed a rooftop benefit concert in New York City on May 30 to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts by the World Health Organization and others.
“The world is going through difficult times,” Guetta said, who is French. “And America too, actually. Last night I knew we were going to do this and I made a special record.”
- “So this record is in honor of George Floyd,” he announced, referring to the Minneapolis man whose death at the hands of police set off the summer’s nationwide racial justice protests.
- “And I really hope we can see more unity and more peace when already things are so difficult. So, shoutout to his family.”
What followed was audio of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech promoting racial equality over an electronic house music track.
DJ vu: It was a poet named Mira Gonzale who brought renewed attention to Guetta’s performance when she tweeted the video on Nov. 25 along with the caption, “this is still the #1 funniest thing i’ve ever seen.”
- The clip got 1.7 million views, and, in a remix of the reaction at the time, thousands of people mocked Guetta for tone-deaf virtue signaling.
- “Prancing about on top of a skyscraper — doing good during the pandemic in a nebulous corporate way — but drawn like a moth to a tragedy that had nothing to do with him,” wrote the Spectator’s William Lloyd in June.
- “Guetta was doing what every celebrity in America has been doing for the last week. Guetta was using a crisis to affirm his status, and to feel important.”
The rooftop concert, which was sponsored by brands like Heineken and HP, was part of a massive wave of activism by celebrities and corporations.