Swarm, Amazon Prime’s buzzy new limited series from executive producer Donald Glover, has an ironically fierce online fanbase for a show about the dark side of obsessive fandoms. But with Chloe Bailey, Billie Eilish, and even Malia Obama, who receives a writing credit on the show, that was probably bound to happen. Right?
In the genre-bending horror-comedy, Andrea “Dre” Greene (Dominique Fishback) is obsessed with a pop star analogous to Beyoncé. Over the course of two years, Dre’s obsession takes a dark and violent turn—a leap that’s at once surreal and incredibly believable. However, after the first episode premiered on Amazon Prime on March 17, it wasn’t the notable names in the credits that set social media on fire—it was an intimate scene between Marissa Jackson (Bailey) and Khalid (Damson Idris). Unsurprisingly, most of the attention was directed at Bailey.
For the singer’s longtime fans, who came to know Bailey as one half of the singing sister act Chloe & Halle, or from her role on ABC’s coming-of-age comedy Grown-ish, her character Marissa’s raw and passionate sex scene may have come as a shock. After all, Bailey was just 16 when she arrived on the scene with her younger sister. But eight years later, at age 24, she is all grown up. And it seems some fans are having a hard time grappling with that fact.
Immediately following the show’s premiere, social media was flooded with talk of the scene. Clips of the episode shared on Twitter have upwards of 20 million views. For a few days it seemed the sex scene and/or discourse about the sex scene was inescapable.
“I’m gonna be thinking about Chlöe Bailey and Damson Idris’s sex scene for the rest of my life. I just know it,” tweeted one user.