The director of Taylor Swift‘s latest video has responded to criticisms from Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt that the piece is “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful”.
Speaking to Vulture, Mark Romanek described the video for Swift’s new single “Shake It Off” as “massively inclusive”, while pointing out Sweatshirt’s assertions that he hadn’t seen it. Scroll down to view the video.
“I’m a fan of his and I think he’s a really interesting artist,” said Romanek. “But he stated clearly that he hadn’t seen the video and didn’t even intend to watch it. So, respectfully, that sort of invalidates his observations from the get-go. And it’s this one uninformed tweet that got reported on and rehashed, which started this whole ‘controversy’.”
Taking to Twitter shortly after the video debuted on Monday (August 18), Sweatshirt wrote, “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 nigga”
Romanek, however, affirmed that the video is “very innocently and positively intentioned”.
“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.”
‘Shake It Off’ will feature on Swift’s upcoming album ‘1989’, which is due for release this October.