Published Aug 21, 2014Earlier this week, once countrified pop star Taylor Swift announced her 1989 album, and with it, released the video for "Shake It Off." While many dismissed the song for various reasons, Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt accused Swift of cultural appropriation. Now, the video's director, Mark Romanek, has responded to the accusations.
Via his Twitter, Sweatshirt called the video "inherently offensive and ultimately harmful," accusing Swift of "perpetuating black stereotypes." He also admitted that he hadn't even watched the video.
In an interview with Vulture, Romanek said that Sweatshirt's argument was invalid if he didn't watch the video. "I'm a fan of his and I think he's a really interesting artist. (I posted a Vine to one of his tracks once)," the director said. "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.'"
Romanek went on to say that the intention of the video was to look at "a whole range of music-video tropes and clichés and stereotypes," adding that "It's very, very innocently and positively intentioned... And this is why, I think, if Earl Sweatshirt was open-minded enough to take the four minutes to watch it, he might see what the larger, humanistic, and utterly colour-blind message was intended to be."
Earl Sweatshirt has yet to respond to Romanek's statements. Watch Taylor Swift's video and make up your own mind below.