Taylor Swift generates racist controversy again

Taylor Swift generates racist controversy again

As our lord and savior Taylor Swift prophesied, the haters are going to hate, hate, hate. The thing is, I don’t think the pop goddess expected the haters to hate her newest music video so much.

Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video drew controversy last week because it was set and filmed in Africa but only featured white actors. NPR even accused the video of “romanticized colonialism.”

Many online publications and bloggers debated whether or not the video was, in fact, racist. Many, like the video’s director Joseph Khan, claimed the video was a period piece based on a 1950 film crew filming a movie in Africa.

“We collectively decided it would have been historically inaccurate to load the crew with more black actors, as the video would have been accused of rewriting history,” Khan said in a statement.

I personally don’t know if the video should be considered racist, but I do know that Swift is an idiot for getting herself into this situation.

I spent most of my life hating Swift. Pop-country crossover just wasn’t my thing and I could’ve cared less about the teardrops on her guitar. But late last year, all hell broke loose. Swift released “1989,” her first album of 100 percent pop songs and it was then that I saw the light. I suddenly had a 5.0 GPA, my crops started to flourish and my grandpa was raised from the dead. The album was too good to deny and I couldn’t stay in the closet any more. I loved Taylor Swift’s music.

My love for “1989” led me to make an overly long, 225-second Snapchat story at her world tour, play “Welcome to New York” on an obnoxious loop for an entire plane ride on my way to the Big Apple last winter and scream a loud “yaaasss” every time a Swift song came on in a club.

It’s my new-found love of Swift that makes me so disappointed in her acting like a raging idiot. Swift was originally accused of racism with her “Shake it Off” video for “perpetuating and mimicking racial stereotypes.” I remember shaking my head in disappointment at the video because, just months before, Lily Allen faced the same criticism for her “Hard Out Here” video.

Artists like Swift and Allen aren’t alone though. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne have all been accused of cultural appropriation. You would think it would be easy for white women to make music videos that didn’t enrage people, but apparently it’s a job requirement. I understand they’re all pressured to constantly reinvent themselves, but there’re many ways to do that without being culturally appropriative or insensitive.

With two music videos accused of racism, either Swift and her team are blatantly ignorant or they’re purposely doing this to garner attention. I don’t think they intended to hurt anyone, but there’s no excuse for an entire team to produce a very expensive video like this one and not be able to step back and think about the possibility that it could be taken the wrong way.

She needs to get a grip, start observing her own actions and stick to making music videos like “Blank Space” where all she had to do to impress the world is walk down some stairs in a lace gown.

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  • W

    wilryanSep 12, 2015 at 5:27 am

    I think everyone should look up the definition of the word “racism”Does anyone seriously believe anyone involved with the making of this video is racist?
    I’m kind of clueless, but I find cultural appropriation confusing. Taylor Swift made a video, Shake It Off, in which many different dance moves were shown, including twerking. Women of different races were shown twerking. But the twerking was called cultural appropriation because it is an African American dance move, so only African Americans can do it and it’s a Taylor Swift video. . Ok. The same day, the Nicki Minaj Anaconda video was released in which there was a lot of twerking. (Were there white women twerking? Not sure) anyway–the video was for popular release. Problem–a popular video, isn’t it possible white people, kids etc might try to twerk? Would this be cultural appropriation, too? Shouldn’t Nicki put up a warning before the beginning of the video? “Warning: if you are white, never try to twerk in private or especially not when dancing publicly. You will be guilty of cultural appropriation, which means you are racist.”
    Crazy? But it seems only logical.. You release a video for popular viewing but only one race is allowed to do a dance move–it seems you should warn people. But then… If you release a video with dancing that’s specific to a specific white culture….is it cultural appropriation if someone of a different race tries that dance move?

  • R

    RosegardensSep 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    You do realize that the team that made Wildest Dreams is predominately people of color?

    • E

      Elizabeth BowmanSep 11, 2015 at 12:30 am

      I don’t think you understood the article. The journalist himself said that he didn’t have an opinion on whether he thinks the video is racist or not, he was just saying that the backlash she is receiving could have been avoided.
      Also a multi-racial crew doesn’t change the fact that what society views as entertainment is white-washed.
      While I personally don’t think the video is racist, I understand why people are getting upset.
      You should reread the article and see that the journalist himself isn’t accusing any of these artists of being racist, he is commenting on the backlash artists have received. Maybe you should really comprehend what you read before you call someone a hypocrite.

  • R

    RosegardensSep 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I don’t think Shake It Off is racist at all. She broke stereotype in it, so I think it is the exact opposite. She had white girls twerking, a black doing what is considered almost a purely white European sport with that Rhythmic Gymnast among others. Oh, I forgot that is cultural appropriation. Does that mean black girls can’t straighten their hair or aspire to become a ballerina which is just a dance invented in Europe? It seems Big Brother is coming and we can’t do anything or think for ourselves. We might as well be in the Stalinist Soviet Empire and get sent to gulag or an insane asylum for going against sanctioned thought. I prefer freedom where everyone is free to do what they want as long as no one is physically threatened.

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Taylor Swift generates racist controversy again