Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick is taking accountability for one of the film’s songs wreaking havoc on the grounds of summer camps nationwide during the hellish summer of 2013.
Kendrick starred in the 2012 blockbuster as Beca, an aspiring DJ in her freshman year of college who joins a struggling all-female a cappella group after the group’s president encourages her to audition. The popular musical comedy was co-written by 30 Rock and New Girl’s Kay Cannon and co-directed by Elizabeth Banks.
When the movie begins, Beca is single-minded about achieving success as a modern-day spin jockey and only enrolls at Barden University to appease her father, a professor.
Meanwhile, the Barden Bellas have lost their spot as the school’s reigning a cappella group after a member vomits on stage during a competition.
The group’s co-leaders urge Beca to try out when one of them overhears her singing. For her audition, Beca sings a version of the song, “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” which was first performed by the Carter Family in 1931, using a plastic cup as percussion. Beca’s version of “The Cups Song” involves a specific routine of tapping and flipping the cup over.
The song has been performed by a number of musicians over the years, both with and without cups; Kendrick herself first saw it on Reddit in an already-viral video.
I am so, so sorry. https://t.co/6408ZhOtPv
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) March 4, 2021
The cult popularity of Pitch Perfect rocketed the song to super-viral status with the soundtrack recording reaching #6 on the charts.
It turns out that “The Cups Song” may have gone a beat too far. Kendrick has apologized on Twitter to TV writer and traumatized former camp counselor, Ellory Smith, who recently summoned the bravery to come forward with a harrowing account of the summer following the film’s release.
The catchy, a cappella tune makes for a perfect camp singalong because it can be performed with dinnerware, and it’s fun to learn.
According to Smith, campers performed the song so often and with such a brazen disregard for their counselors’ eardrums that the camp had to take disciplinary action in the form of removing their “instruments.” Counselors, be forewarned. The following tweets contain recollections of annoying camper behavior:
I was a camp counselor the year Pitch Perfect came out and I can’t tell you how bad it was. We had to ban empty cups.
Kendrick, who has profited handsomely from the insidious jingle with both fame and fortune, apologized to Smith for the trauma her musical stylings caused the beleaguered summer camp employee and countless others just like her.
Kendrick’s career has taken off since starring in Pitch Perfect, surely owing in part to a tour of the late-night circuit during which the actress performed, “The Cups Song” to audiences that we now know included highly impressionable and extremely annoying young campers.
Interestingly enough, the actress’ first role in a feature film was in another musical comedy from 2003 called Camp. Her long list of credits now includes musical adaptations of The Last Five Years and Into the Woods, as well as an upcoming sci-fi thriller with Toni Collette.
Kendrick’s apology is a hilarious acknowledgment of just how ubiquitous the hit was at one point in time. Smith has found it in her heart to forgive the Pitch Perfect star, although she may never forget the chilling sound of cups hitting tables that still echoes in her ears to this day.
Who knows how many other summer camp staff members are haunted by the same relentless, rhythmic beating? You know what, Anna? Sorry isn’t gonna cup it.
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