Is Taylor Swift a racist?
Some are indicating “yes” after watching her video for the latest release, “Shake It Off.” In fact, the claims of racism are getting so intense that the video’s director has gone to bat in defense of it.
Mark Romanek, who’s worked with stars like Michael and Janet Jackson and Nine Inch Nails, had this to say in comments to Vulture:
We simply choose styles of dance that we thought would be popular and amusing…. And cast the best dancers that were presented to us without much regard to race or ethnicity…. If you look at it carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece… It’s very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And — let’s remember — it’s a satirical piece. It’s playing with a whole range of music video tropes and cliches and stereotypes.”
That isn’t enough to quell rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who took to Twitter to make a Taylor Swift as racist rant.
“Haven’t watched the Taylor Swift video and I don’t need to watch it to tell you that it’s inherently offensive and ultimately harmful. Perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture…. For instance, those of you who are afraid of black people but love that in 2014 it’s OK for you to be trill or twerk or say (N-bomb).”
The part that Sweatshirt and others have found offensive is where Swift is dressed in hip-hop gear with “cutoff shorts, cropped leopard print jacket, and gold hoop earrings, which she wears while crawling underneath a row of tweaking dancers,” Mercury News reports.
Playing to what some would call a stereotype of African-American people isn’t sitting well, and according to Romanek, it was all Taylor’s idea.
“This basic idea was all Taylor’s,” he told Vulture. “We met and she told me that she wanted to make a sort of paean to the awkward ones, the ‘uncool’ kids that are actually cooler than the ‘cool’ kids. She said she wanted to shoot all these styles of dance and then be the individualist dork in the midst of these established genres.”
(Okay, so apparently Romanek is going to bat for Taylor Swift and throwing her under the bus at the same time.)
What do you think, readers? Does the “Shake It Off” video go too far, and has Taylor Swift revealed herself to be a racist? You tell us after watching the video above.