Back to IndieWire

Does Taylor Swift’s New ‘Shake It Off’ Video Perpetuate Black Stereotypes?

Does Taylor Swift's New 'Shake It Off' Video Perpetuate Black Stereotypes?

Taylor Swift officially debut her attempt at going from pop country to full-on pop via a questionable video for her new single “Shake It Off,” somehow directed by Mark Romanek despite being pretty damn uninspired (though we have to admit we kind of can’t stop listening to the song itself as much as that makes us hate ourselves).

But what it is more problematically questionable for is its racism and cultural appropriation, as Swift twerks and break dances (poorly — though that’s apparently the point), mocking signifiers of black culture in the process. Whether that was intentional or malicious is besides the point (though Swift hardly seems aware of much of anything in the video), as Earl Sweatshirt points out in a series of tweets:

Granted, Earl admits to having not seen the video in making these criticisms — which wouldn’t have taken much to change given its under 3 minutes long.  But he still brings up important points that have come up a lot recently — Miley Cyrus, Lily Allen and Katy Perry have both received similar criticisms.  You can watch the video yourself below and chime in on what you think. Is Earl spot-on or overreacting? And also on lighter notes — Why do we love the song so much!? AND WHAT IS MARK ROMANEK DOING DIRECTING THE VIDEO (POORLY)?


Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox