Last week popular French Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire released a new music video for their single “We Exist” featured on their latest album Reflektor. The single speaks about transgendered people and the struggles they face in society. The video features The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield dressed in female attire going to a country style bar and where he is attacked by a group of men. During the attack it appears that Garfield blanks out and is imagining himself alone dancing around the bar and then watching a group of men dressed in halter tops and high waisted shorts dancing in a line. The video ends with Garfield entering a sold out Arcade fire arena, and joining the band on stage while receiving massive applause from the crowd. The music video has already received some criticism by others, including musician Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! A singer who has struggled with gender dysphoria herself, bashed the band’s creativity by tweeting to them, “Dear Arcade Fire, maybe when making a video for a song called “We Exist” you should get an actual “Trans” actor instead of Spider-Man?” And although her suggestion is a supportive idea that makes sense, Arcade Fire and director of the music video, David Wilson, used a creative approach that does support the LGBT community by using Spider-Man in their music video. Lead singer Win Butler spoke in an interview with The Advocate, that the band wrote the song while in Jamaica, a place whose residents that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered are faced with a threat of violence on a daily basis because of who they are. Butler stated that with using Garfield in the music video, “Once something gets on the Internet, it works it’s way into people’s lives in a way that I think is pretty powerful…For a gay kid in Jamaica to see the actor who played Spider-Man in that role is pretty damn powerful I’m my opinion.” When asked about Grace’s response to the video, Butler agreed he could see the sensitivity to the issue, but that casting Garfield did not seem like the wrong move to them, especially since the actor was so passionate and emotionally dedicated into making the music video.
Check out the official music video for “We Exist” here!