Adele is more keyed in on the issue of police brutality against Black bodies that one might think.
Xavier Dolan, the director for the UK singer’s “Hello” video, told Vulture in an interview that casting a Black actor was Adele’s idea in response to the contentious issue of police brutality.
As a result, Dolan chose to cast Tristan Wilds as the lead role in the video.
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“It was her desire that we wouldn’t cast a Caucasian male in this, which I thought was great,” he told Vulture. “She called me and said, ‘This is what I think we should do,’ and if my memory serves me right … I’m going to be honest, it’s tragic not to be able to remember what exact conflict was on the news at that moment, because there are so many incidents of police brutality.”
“She said it in such a natural way,” he said. “It was not opportunistic, she didn’t want to be hip or anything. She was just like, ‘I’m concerned with the reality of the tensions between authorities and the black community, and I want to send a message out there.’ I thought it was beautiful. I wish that it was my idea, but it wasn’t.”
As for which particular incident inspired Adele, Dolan was honest in admitting that it is hard for him to remember because there have been so many instances of police brutality in the last year.
He continued: “She called me right after one of those incidents of police brutality, and I wish I could remember the name. I wish it wouldn’t be as hard to remember because there wouldn’t be so many different instances of those incidents. They’re disgusting.”
From there, Dolan said he suggested Wilds because he “[loves] what he did on The Wire.”
The video currently has over 1.8 billion views on YouTube.