Michael Bay’s dystopian COVID-19 thriller ‘Songbird’ criticized as being ‘completely out of touch’

The first trailer for dystopian thriller “Songbird,” produced by Michael Bay and directed by Adam Mason, was released Thursday to much criticism.

Bay’s film “Songbird” takes place in 2024, where COVID-19 has mutated to COVID-23 and the world is in its fourth year of lockdown. The trailer shows images of notable places in the U.S., including the Santa Monica Pier nearly deserted, now mostly occupied by soldiers and armored vehicles ready to shoot civilians who violate lockdown orders. The U.S. death toll in the movie’s setting has reached over 8 million for the year alone, while the worldwide coronavirus death toll is now over 110 million.

The trailer was deemed “tone deaf” by many on Twitter who thought it was bad timing to make a movie about a deadly pandemic when we’re still in the middle of a current pandemic. One American dies from COVID-19 every 107 seconds, according to Johns Hopkins data.

“Making a ‘dystopian horror movie’ about a horror that is real and happening RIGHT NOW is so tone deaf. And so not what people need. So many people have lost jobs, livelihoods and loved ones due to COVID, and everyone’s life has been severely effected. Bad, bad, bad move,” tweeted @scallywap.

Others called Bay “completely out of touch” and insensitive as not only does it play into people’s fears about the pandemic, but it appears as though he’s profiting off of it.

“We are still in this pandemic. That is still killing hundreds of people daily. Ppl are jobless and homeless. In real life. And ppl are being shot in the streets. Making a film to profit off something that is causing suffering all over the world right now is actually offensive,” tweeted @moonchiile.

Others noted that people are still dying from the virus, adding that the novel coronavirus “isn’t some sort of sci-fi illness.”

“To make a movie about it, especially this year is extremely disrespectful,” wrote @ambsomething.

The U.S. set a record this week for new coronavirus cases over a seven-day period with more than 500,000 infections. An American is testing positive every 1.2 seconds and daily hospitalizations have been rising steadily for more than a month, from 28,608 on Sept. 20 to more than 44,000 on Tuesday.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat it: We are facing an urgent crisis, and there is an imminent risk to you, your family members, your friends, your neighbors and the people you care about,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, whose state is seeing one of the nation’s worst outbreaks.

Contributing: John Bacon

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