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Mark Romanek, director of Taylor Swift’s new video for “Shake It Off,” confronts the racist controversy.
TheCelebrityCafe.com recently reported that, although it has gotten plenty of positive reactions, the “Shake It Off” music video has been deemed racist by rapper Earl Sweatshirt, as well as among others on Twitter.
Romanek spoke to Vulture to clarify the purpose of the video and defend it against the haters. Romanek stated that he chose the most talented dancers for each choreographed segment of the video and was color blind to who the dancers were.
“If you look at it carefully, it's a massively inclusive piece,” he said. “It's very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And — let's remember — it's a satirical piece. It's playing with a whole range of music-video tropes and clichés and stereotypes.”
Romanek also revealed in his interview that most of the inspiration for the video was Swift’s idea.
“She said she wanted to shoot all these styles of dance and then be the individualist dork in the midst of these established genres. And that she somehow wanted her fans involved. I loved that idea, so over the following week or so, we narrowed down our choices for styles of dance.”
The video was released as a surprise on Yahoo Livestream. The video was shot back in June and was kept under heavy wraps so that there were no leaks of the footage or even of the existence of the video at all. Romanek explained that they picked a remote shooting area and even blasted loud heavy-metal around the area to drown out any possibility of the Swift song being heard. “And then, after all those measures are taken, you kneel and pray.”
Swift’s fifth album, 1989 is set to be released October 27. The single “Shake It Out” is already available on ITunes.