Taylor Swift released her new music video for "Shake It Off" on Monday and has since been met with criticism over some of the images that it contains. On Monday, soon after the video was released, a rapper by the name of Earl Sweatshirt took to Twitter to call the video out and to claim it contains racial stereotypes that are "inherently offensive and ultimately harmful." Please note that Earl Sweatshirt admits that he never even watched it.
In the silly and somewhat campy music video, Taylor Swift and friends can be seen dancing several different styles including modern, ballet and hip hop. The song pokes fun at what people have said about Swift, including that she has "nothing in her brain" and that she "goes on too many dates." The whole message of the video "Shake It Off" is that she really doesn't care what they think.
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 n****
In the video, Taylor Swift does have a very small segment where she raps. It is literally twenty seconds long and that's only if you count the part where she is speaking and not rapping at all. If the twerking in the video is racially offensive, then why is no one talking about Miley Cyrus?
It is really unclear which part of the video is so offensive or racially harmful. After polling several sources and asking their opinions of the video, no one was able to pinpoint any part of the video that should be insulting to anyone. Well, except for a select few who critiqued Taylor Swift's overall singing and dancing abilities. Again though, that had nothing to do with the racial aspect purported by Earl Sweatshirt.
So that begs the question: What is offensive or racially harmful? Could it be claiming that a video that one has not seen to be harmful actually be harmful in itself? It certainly has raised the eyebrows of several journalists and has gained Mr. Sweatshirt about three seconds of attention. In a time where racial tensions are starting to peak at civil rights era levels and when real issues of racism and discrimination are taking place, is it really fair to skewer a recording artist for something that possibly isn't even the case and without even doing some research?
Check out the music video for Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" and let us know what you think. Be sure to actually watch it all the way through though.