Though she appears in the majority of the studio footage that makes up Peter Jackson’s three-part Get Back documentary, Yoko Ono doesn’t play a major role in the actual events captured in the series—namely, The Beatles’ breakup. In fact, Ono mostly just sits around sewing, reading Beatles books and newspapers, or, from time to time, joining in on exhausted noise rock jams once work on the songs that will be included on Let It Be and Abbey Road has petered out.
The article collects tweets and comments remarking on how Ono, long blamed as being responsible for The Beatles’ breakup, is shown to have far less to do with the band dissolving than old rumors suggest. Uproxx collects tweets highlighting how uninvolved she is with the songwriting process and points to an interview with Peter Jackson in which he calls Ono “a very benign presence [who] doesn’t interfere in the slightest.”
Watching Get Back, it becomes pretty clear that much of the supposed animosity the group held toward each other has been exaggerated in hindsight. John and George don’t get into a fistfight. Nobody really yells at one another. Even George’s temporary exit from the sessions goes unnoticed at first.
Instead, The Beatles are shown to be a group of collaborators who are simply growing apart and tired of working with one another while looking forward to pursuing other projects. Ono isn’t shown to involve herself with any of their disagreements.
As Alex McLevy notes in our review, “the sexist narrative of Yoko Ono breaking up the group is quickly dismantled; she’s by Lennon’s side throughout, but it quickly becomes apparent that [The Beatles’] long-simmering fissures have little to do with the fact that, as McCartney spoofs it at one point, ‘Yoko sat on an amp.’”
The Beatles: Get Back is available now on Disney Plus.