UPDATE: On Wednesday, Drake rereleased a version of the video without Zoia in it. He announced the change on Instagram, noting that they removed “certain people we don’t condone.”
We know Drake has the star-level access to call up almost anyone. Case in point: His ‘Nice For What’ video, which featured a slew of Hollywood A-listers.
So when Drizzy dropped a surprise video on Dec. 23 for his new track “War,” fans were excited to see who would pop-up.
Would it be record-breaking tennis superstar Bianca Andreescu? Would it be any or all of the players on Toronto’s historic championship basketball team? Perhaps Canadian legend Celine Dion, whom Drake plans to get tattoo of?
Would it be a 20-year-old woman from Toronto whose main claim to fame is throwing chairs off a high-rise balcony onto highway traffic while her friends filmed her endangering lives?
Ding, ding, ding!
At about the 2:38 mark of the “War” video, Marcella Zoia, who pleaded guilty to one count of mischief endangering life last month, is shown in the middle of a ski-lodge party. The video, directed by Theo Skudra, was filmed at Blue Mountain, a well-known ski-resort north of Toronto.
Drake took to Instagram to put up a defense for Zoia’s appearance after fans posted a stream on outrage on social media.
“I don’t choose extras for my videos by the way,” he said on an Instagram story.
When the snapchat video emerged of a young woman hurling a chair off a balcony, onto Toronto’s notoriously busy Gardiner Expressway, the city was outraged. Toronto Police put out a public call for help to track down Zoia, who ended up turning herself in.
Zoia went on to gain notoriety for both the reckless chair-chucking and her social media. When Zoia was in court, lost her job as a dental hygienist, and had became the centre of angry attention from Torontonians — she was criticized for continuing to have a social media presence and seemingly enjoying media attention.
After pleading guilty, Zoia might face up to six months in jail.
Drake himself has been increasingly called out for problematic behaviour this year. The 33-year-old rapper has gained a reputation for texting young girls, like Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown and singer Billie Eilish. Featuring 20-year-old Zoia is only the latest is a series of bad looks on the superstar.
But clout prevails. After one day, ‘War’ trended #1 on YouTube with almost four million views and counting.
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