Shawn Mendes Is Getting Shit For Using A Picture Of Smoke-Covered New York As His Single Artwork

June 9, 2023 / Posted by:

Like many, I woke up Monday choking on smoke from the wildfires in my province of Ontario, and the one next door, Québec. And because of the Canadian wildfires, parts of the East Coast in the U.S., including New York, have been covered in smoke. It looked like the Blade Runner remake up in that bitch. Shawn Mendes thinks that’s something to use for promo. The Canadian crooner did not seem to take the fires seriously on either side of the border, as he is now getting flack for using a picture of a smog-covered New York City for his latest single artwork.

Shawn’s new song WHAT ARE WE DYING FOR? was released at midnight, and it definitely sounds like a breakup song about Camila Cabello, who he split from again this week. This song could also be titled: Camila Cabello Breakup Promo #2 because he already released one! It opens with the lyrics, “Smoke in the air, The city’s burning down.” So his PR team must have said, “I have a brilliant and timely idea!” Here’s the song and its art:

Even through the wildfire smoke that has people staying indoors and wearing masks again, I can still smell the PR. And Shawn’s fans are not all living for his choice of artwork. via Page Six:

Shawn Mendes was slammed for using a photo of New York City engulfed in wildfire smoke to promote his new single. The Stitches singer posted a photo Thursday of the Manhattan skyline, which had become nearly invisible due to the smoke from the raging Canadian wildfires — less than 36 hours after it occurred. Imposed over the photo were the words “What the hell are we dying for.” Despite some fans gushing over his musical comeback, others were not amused by the imagery.

“ppl are dying in wildfires n getting sick by the poor air quality n u rlly [sic] decided to make it ur aesthetic?” one Instagram user commented, while another said, “Why are you trying to profit off a natural disaster.”

“did bro actually commercialise [sic] New York’s climate lmao,” another user wrote. Fans also came for the artist via Twitter, with one user writing, “he… used… the unhealthy air quality photos… from LITERALLY YESTERDAY… as an album cover??? oh he’s lost his damn mind.”

“even if this song is about the climate crisis — this seems a bit much. like there better be intersectionality of climate justice and have a feat from greta herself,” another Twitter user commented, referring to Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg would not approve of this use of imagery. While this song seems like a breakup ballad to his one true love, Camila, Shawn wants you to think the fires inspired him. Shawn tweeted that he only started writing the song on Wednesday and finished right before releasing it. “We can tell,” said everyone. Shawn also said that he’s donating to the Canadian Red Cross.

Well, I guess a celebrity had to step up to the embarrassing plate and make everyone cringe by releasing the Canadian wildfires version of Gal Gadot’s Imagine video. So thank you for your service, Shawn.

Pic: Island Records/UMG Recordings Inc.

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