AnnaLynne McCord’s Slam Poetry Video About Vladimir Putin is Tone-Deaf


McCord received criticism for her bizarre video directed at Vladimir Putin. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Everyone responds to the news of war in different ways. Although everyone is entitled to react as they see fit, some reactions are better kept private. AnnaLynne McCord’s recent slam poem, addressed to Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, exemplifies this perfectly. As a well-known American actress, McCord should be aware of how her actions and reactions are seen by her fans. Her responses to current events are sure to garner more scrutiny than the average person, and subsequently, her opinions and behaviors are more likely to influence others. As such, McCord’s decision to record this video and upload it for the world to see was not only an entirely careless act, but an immoral one as well.

Considering the catastrophic loss of life that has occurred in Ukraine, McCord’s video is more than just a poorly expressed sentiment. No matter what her intentions were when filming this video, her words have come across as dismissive of the horrors that people are enduring. 

Her claim that by being Putin’s mother she could have prevented this crisis is not only based entirely on speculation, but it draws attention away from the real problems at hand. Instead of focusing on what is currently happening in Russia and Ukraine, people are becoming more interested in McCord’s reaction. Whether they agree with her bizarre stance or not, the more her video trends the less people are paying attention to the real dangers of what will likely be World War III.

Beyond the general lack of understanding McCord apparently has of the war, the accusation that Putin’s mother is at fault for the current crisis is ludicrous. Putin’s mother is not in any way responsible for his decision to invade Ukraine, just as she is not responsible for any other decision Putin has made in recent years. As a fully grown adult, the only person who can truly be blamed is Putin himself. To attempt to place blame on his mother is incredibly misogynistic. In saying that she could have loved Putin enough to make him not invade Ukraine, McCord is perpetuating the problematic ideal that women are responsible for the actions of men. 

In no uncertain terms, McCord has shifted the blame from falling on Putin to falling on his mother. And whether or not she intended to do so, she has essentially excused Putin’s erratic behavior and infantilized him in the process.

McCord’s viral slam-poetry video has also inspired many people to make their own parody videos about the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Countless creators, particularly on TikTok, have taken it upon themselves to make their own videos that attempt to make light of the severity of the situation. The videos vary greatly in their content and style, but the commonality among them is that they focus solely on diminishing the severity of an already incredibly hostile situation. In other words, these videos satirize and poke fun at the war, which only further shows how desensitized mainstream media is from current world events. Though humor is by all means a standard and recognized coping mechanism, it is one that should come from the people that are actively impacted by these recent horrendous actions and not by those who are merely searching for their 15 minutes of fame.

Though a definitive link can likely not be established between McCord’s video and the rising number of parody videos about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it can certainly be said that her video is not helping the situation. By failing to understand the seriousness of the war, she has set the precedent that just because this war is not directly impacting her it does not deserve to be taken seriously. 

Furthermore, she is grossly misinforming the public and writing herself into current events that have nothing to do with her. As an influential figure that people look up to, her actions have undoubtedly colored the perceptions of her followers and her fans.

Carolyn Branigan, FCRH ’24, is an English and Film & Television major from Tinton Falls, N.J.