Just ahead of the crucial elections in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to woo voters with a version of a scene from the 2003 romantic comedy hit Love Actually. However, the advertisement received criticism from some people who’ve accused him of ruining their Christmas and the film, while some have pointed out that it’s a copy of a campaign advertisement brought out by a Labour party candidate.
Recreating the scene that featured Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln, Johnson is seen holding up placards while Silent Night plays on the stereo.
In the campaign video, Johson rings the doorbell of a house and when its answered begins to show an array of cards, one of which says, “With any luck, by next year we’ll have Brexit done (if Parliament doesn’t block it again).”
Here’s Johnson’s campaign video:
And this is the original scene from the film:
Within minutes of it being posted, many were quick to point out that the advertisement was an imitation of a campaign video released by Labour’s candidate for Tooting in London, Rosena Allin-Khan.
“I won’t be retweeting it – but Boris Johnson has copied my #ElectionActually video. Tanks. On. The. Lawn. Don’t share his version in outrage – instead, share my original version,” Allin-Khan wrote on Twitter.
Some said the video was creepy and terrifying, while others came up with photoshopped versions of the video. Actor Hugh Grant, who played the role of the British Prime Minister in the film, also responded to it.
“I thought it was quite well done, very high production values. But I did notice that one of the cards from the original film that he didn’t hold up was the one where Andrew Lincoln held up a card saying ‘because of Christmas you tell the truth’ and I just wonder if the spin doctors in the Tory party thought that was a card that wouldn’t look too great in Boris Johnson’s hands,” Grant told BBC Radio 4. Grant has been campaigning for the Labour party’s candidates ahead of the elections.
Here are the responses to the video:
“One of the cards… Boris Johnson didn’t hold up was the one saying “Because at Christmas you tell the truth”
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) December 10, 2019
Lies, actually. pic.twitter.com/EZldAqjqSZ
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) December 10, 2019
— Jen Long (@jenlong) December 9, 2019
Entirely fitting that they parody a movie in which a dude shows up and risks destroying a relationship between a woman (EU) and his ‘best friend’ (The UK) because he’s too concerned with self gratification and too much of a pussy to show his face to him and explain himself. https://t.co/x2pe0TtAvo
— Pyotr Bropotkin #VivaEvo (@KingOfTheSkyGa1) December 10, 2019
Wow, you’re not even capable of coming up with your own ideas. pic.twitter.com/njo1Lte0uw
— Tom Coates (@tomcoates) December 9, 2019
— OC🌹 (@OliverCoultas) December 10, 2019
Is anyone surprised that an old white man has stolen a younger woman of colour’s idea and passed it off as his own for political gain? That’s just the Tories, Actually.
— 🚀MΛG!D (@MagicMagid) December 10, 2019
They knew we would laugh if you held up this one: pic.twitter.com/8mn2djwHBR
— James (@trymybest18) December 10, 2019
— Mike Galsworthy (@mikegalsworthy) December 10, 2019
— fat lad (@steve_avison) December 10, 2019
— Cromwell (@Cromwell606) December 9, 2019
That Boris Johnson Love Actually ripoff, if was the truth actually. pic.twitter.com/G2UI6sOM7L
— steve harper (@Dossard49) December 10, 2019
— TakedownMRAs (@TakedownMRAs) December 10, 2019
Boris Johnson doesn’t get to ruin Christmas and love actually as well, he’s done enough already https://t.co/rlxObT6UIB
— maria (@mariacareyshaw) December 10, 2019
The video comes even as Johnson faced criticism for refusing to look at a photo of a child forced to sleep on a hospital floor during a TV interview. The UK Prime Minister repeatedly refused to look at the picture on ITV reporter Joe Pike’s phone during the interview. Johnson then snatched the phone off-camera and continued with the interview. He returned the phone with an apology after the reporter pointed out on air that the prime minister had snatched his phone.
The December 12 election will decide the fate of Brexit and the world’s fifth-largest economy with a stark choice between Johnson’s pro-market Conservatives and the socialist-led opposition Labour Party.
Johnson called the snap election after more than three years of political crisis over the United Kingdom’s most significant geopolitical move since World War Two. Johnson is likely to need more than 320 seats to ensure he can remain prime minister and ratify the Brexit deal he struck with the EU in October.
Opinion polls put Johnson ahead of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, though his lead has narrowed in recent weeks and such polls largely failed to predict the 2016 referendum result or May’s loss of her majority in the 2017 snap election.