We’re less than three weeks away from the U.S. presidential election and while some stars are trying to seemingly-apolitically “Rock the Vote,” others are blatantly waving their anti-Trump flag extra hard. Demi Lovato’s literally lending her voice to the chorus with her protest song “Commander in Chief.”
Last night, she released the music video featuring a diverse group of Americans from all walks of life, lip syncing along to her lyrics, which can only being interpreted as a pointed message to Donald Trump, and his mishandling of police brutality, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more:
“I'm not the only one/That’s been affected and resented every story you've spun.”
One man in the video wears a MAGA-like hat with the phrase “make America united again,” while Demi closes the clip with a tear running down her face as she belts out “We’re in a state of crisis/people are dying/while you line your pockets, deep,” before the video ends on the word VOTE.
Speaking to CNN, she says she’s thought many times about writing the President a letter or meeting him to present him with the same questions she’s asking in the song.
"And then I thought, I don't really actually want to do that and I thought one way that I could do that is writing a song and releasing it for the whole world to hear and then he has to answer those questions to everyone and not just me.”
She also says she’s not afraid of the backlash, which she’s already started receiving. One fan commented on her Instagram saying they are “ashamed to be a Lovatic right now,” especially since their family is Republican. Much like the new song, Demi didn’t hold back in her response.
“I literally don’t care if this ruins my career. This isn’t about that. My career isn’t about that. I made a piece of art that stands for something I believe in. And I’m putting it out even at the risk of losing fans. I’ll take integrity in my work over sales any day. As much as I would like to be sad that I disappointed you, I’m too busy being bummed that you expect me, a queer Hispanic woman, to silence my views/beliefs in order to please my audience i.e. your family.”
Yes, Demi! Love that response. Imagine having to make every fan’s family members happy…
She performed the song for the first time on last night’s Billboard Music Awards, where NBC reportedly censored her message to “VOTE” which was supposed to be shown on background video boards during the final wide shot. Instead the camera held on a closeup of her to end the performance. TMZ has footage of the way the performance was originally recorded and intended and says NBC pulled the plug because the song was already anti-Trump, so the “VOTE” message would be a call to vote against him. I don’t understand that reasoning. Like, yes obviously. But why let her perform the song, but not tell people to vote? It’s a bad look for NBC, who’s come under fire from social media users for responding to Joe Biden’s planned town hall on ABC by scheduling a Trump town hall the same date and time. Perhaps to save face, the NBC Twitter account posted a photo of the moment that was cut from the broadcast.
To be honest, “Commander in Chief” isn’t one of Demi’s best songs, but it’s about the message more than anything this time and she gets points for conveying the message perfectly. The lyrics are biting, but to be clear there’s nothing shocking about the song — to me, at least. When I listen to it, it’s pretty matter of fact. People are dying and it’s difficult to see what the president is doing (if anything) to prevent that. However, Demi tells CNN, she isn’t trying to divide people with this song. She wants everybody to vote next month, so that no matter the results are, at least everybody’s voice was heard.