Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' Video Is Racist? Is Earl Sweatshirt Right?
Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' may well be awful, but is it offensive, or racist?
Taylor Swift has come under fire for her new music video for 'Shake It Off', with numerous artists including Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt branding it "inherently offensive" for referencing black culture. As you will probably know by now -Taylor Swift is not black.
Is Taylor Swift's 'Shake it Off' Video Offensive?
The US rapper - who hadn't actually watched the video - tweeted: "I don't need to watch it to tell you that it's 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 are afraid of black people but love that in 2014 it's okay for you to be trill or twerk or say n****."
The video sees pop-superstar Swift crawling through the legs of twerking dancers, spliced with footage of her dancing in a white swan costume while wearing a snapback cap, wet look trousers and a red hooty - items often linked to black fashion and culture.
Salon.com noted that Swift is a "white woman dressed as a caricature of a black woman," adding, "The image is jarring, and is hard not to wonder if this is what Taylor Swift thinks it means to 'be black,' and if so, how troubling that is."
One Twitter user, Nez, said: "Aww, cute!!! Taylor Swift made a mockery of black culture and black womanhood in her new music video! What a sweet, absolutely racist phase."
Another, Patty D, said: "Hi, Taylor Swift. Welcome to the racist pop singer club."
'Shake It Off' is the lead single from Swift's forthcoming album 1989, released on October 27. Her new eighties inspired pop sound has been compared to that of Miley Cyrus and Jessie J though during an interview with Good Morning America, the former country star explained that she's simply following suit.
"I feel like for the last two years there's been sort of a sonic evolution happening and I've been experimenting more and more. And I think you have to follow, just this intuition, this gut feeling. As a songwriter, you just write to write a certain kind of music and you don't know why."