That’s what Noah Lindquist, a 24-year-old actor and singer living in Topeka, Kan. is banking on with his “Wear a Mask” song parody set to the tune of “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In Lindquist’s version now going viral on YouTube, footage from the 1991 animated film sees charming French candlestick Lumière belting out lyrics like,“try not to be so grouchy, have some faith in Fauci” in a plea to “mask debaters.”
“You can shout, you can glare, but listen, Karen, I don’t care,” chirps motherly teapot Mrs. Potts in a reference to the raft of women going viral for protesting pro-mask store policies.
In fact, Lindquist — who, with the help of friend and local performer Ashley Young, voiced all the characters in his parody — tells Yahoo Life that one such run-in with an anti-masker customer at the shop where he’s working helped fuel the frustration expressed in “Wear a Mask.”
“[She] tried to give me a science lesson, claiming that she was a nurse and at her facility, they encourage everybody to not wear masks, which sounds insanely sketchy,” says Lindquist, who is currently working as a barista back home in Topeka after the pandemic forced the cancelation of his performing jobs in Kansas City.
He adds that he had just watched Beauty and the Beast with his mom when he sold a handmade mask at work; by the end of his lunch break he’d written almost the entire first verse. Uploaded on Oct. 17, the resulting video has racked up more than 2.5 million views, and earned plaudits from some serious musical theater heavyweights.
A post shared by Disney (@disney) on
“I actually screamed when Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Lea Salonga shared it,” he says. (McDonald voiced Madame de Garderobe in the 2017 Disney remake of Beauty and the Beast, while Salonga has provided the singing voices for both Jasmine and Mulan.)
A post shared by Noah Lindquist (@noah.lindquist) on
Of course, the “mask debaters” referenced in his song parody have also shared their two cents, says Lindquist, who is using his newfound fame to amplify social justice causes.
“I’ve been called a ‘sick bastard,’ accused of trying to ‘indoctrinate children’ and met with every excuse and conspiracy theory out there,” he says. “These comments don’t hurt my feelings one bit, but it does drive me crazy to know how many willfully ignorant people are out there.
“I’ve also been told my video is “condescending,” and I won’t really deny that. We’ve been in this mess for several months now, and if you’re going to continue to ignore the top scientists and doctors and instead listen to people like Tucker Carlson and conspiracy theories you read on Facebook, I’m done being polite to you about this.
“However, the positive reactions far outweigh the negative,” he adds.
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
Read more from Yahoo Life:
Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.