Arcade Fire Talks Back to Laura Jane Grace’s Criticism

Arcade Fire chats about their casting choices.

Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace criticized Arcade Fire last week for their casting choices in their music video for “We Exist“.

Arcade Fire’s frontman Win Butler and video director David Wilson responded to the comments in an interview with The Advocate over the weekend.

They do mean well. Arcade Fire says that this song was one of the only ones to be completely written in Jamaica after chatting with the gay youth living in the sewers, and felt their struggle needed to be brought to light.

When asked about the casting, Butler says, “For a gay kid in Jamaica to see the actor who played Spider-Man in that role is pretty damn powerful, in my opinion.”

Wilson had considered casting a trans actor for the role, but that “Andrew’s commitment and passion toward the project was just overwhelming. For an actor of that caliber to be that emotionally invested in a music video is just a very special thing. It just completely made sense.”

Grace still wasn’t having it. In a rant made on Twitter, she questioned Arcade Fire’s integrity:

“The implication that a homeless Jamaican LGBT youth living in a sewer is going to feel empowered because… a cis[non trans], straight white male actor in movies they can’t afford to see stars in a music video they’ll never watch? That’s so like wtf?”

The tweets have since been removed. A conversation between Grace and Our Lady J, the transgender performer who coached Garfield in the role, helped Grace see things from a different perspective. Hopefully this means all the drama is over.