24. Arcade Fire - "We Exist"
Director: David Wilson
Arcade Fire's "We Exist" stars actor Andrew Garfield and follows (as the band captioned on YouTube) "the story of a young person's struggle with gender identity." However, almost as soon as the video came out, people began voicing disappointment over the video's authenticity and intentions online.
In particular, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace took to Twitter, asking why they didn't get "an actual 'Trans' actor instead of Spider-Man." Others online pointed out transgender stereotypes in the video that could be seen as offensive. Director David Wilson then released a statement letting people know that the team had considered a trans actor but were convinced by Garfield that he could execute the vision for the video.
In the end, both the character and the video triumph despite struggle and misunderstanding. Arcade Fire and David Wilson carefully treaded the controversy and Garfield ascends onto the stage with the band for a truly special, endearing moment in music video history.—Cedar