Yoko Ono didn’t break up the Beatles — so say some Beatles fans after watching a new documentary about the legendary band.
“Get Back,” a three-part documentary series directed by Peter Jackson and airing on Disney+, follows John, Paul, George and Ringo as they make their last album together, 1970’s Let It Be.
Many fans watching the documentary felt the footage shown in the series proves that Yoko Ono was not a meddling, corrosive influence on the Beatles, as she is often characterized, but rather more of a benign presence.
Biggest band in the world workshopping new songs together, Yoko reads the newspaper. Amazing. pic.twitter.com/B1HLWNf1A3
— Ryan H. Walsh (@JahHills) November 26, 2021
Watching “Get Back” and learning how Yoko destroyed the Beatles by sitting quietly and reading the paper and sorting through her mail.
— Mark Athitakis (@mathitak) November 25, 2021
Yoko out here rollin’ joints & eating chicken cutlets while history is being made pic.twitter.com/k6jBPglHtl
— Nicole Villa (@allthedamnvamps) November 26, 2021
The doc shows that Ono was definitely present during the making of the album, but it also shows that she seemed not to care about the fact that music history was being made right in front of her, preferring to read the newspaper, check her mail, knit, roll joints or eat.
Significantly, Ono herself tweeted an article recapping fans’ comments on social media supporting her.
— Yoko Ono ☮ (@yokoono) November 27, 2021
In one particularly revelatory clip from the docu-series, Paul McCartney makes an almost eerie prediction about how Ono will be viewed in hindsight. “It’s going to be such an incredible, comical thing in 50 years time … they broke up because Yoko sat on an amp,” McCartney predicted. The music icon has always said that neither Ono nor himself were the reason the band broke up. “I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” McCartney told The Guardian in October. “I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving The Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split or not?”
Director Peter Jackson agrees that Ono should not be blamed for the band’s dissolution. “I have no issues with Yoko in the sense… I can understand from George and Paul and Ringo’s point of view it’s, like, a little strange,” Jackson told 60 Minutes this week. “But the thing with Yoko, though, that they have to say, is that she doesn’t impose herself. She’s writing letters, she’s reading letters, she’s doing sewing, she’s doing painting, sometimes some artwork off to the side. She never has opinions about the stuff they’re doing. She never says, ‘Oh, I think the previous take was better than that one.’ She’s a very benign presence and she doesn’t interfere in the slightest.”