Taylor Swift released her video for “Shake It Off” earlier this week, and since it dropped during the Ferguson riots, and since it contains :45 of people twerking and Taylor dressed as a breakdancer, obviously you can tell by not watching it that it’s “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful” and it is ripping the bandage off our nation’s collective healing process by being yet another example of a white artist appropriating “black culture”. I mean, obviously. Speaking of stereotypes, the “feminist” blog Jezebel jumped in, and they weren’t satisfied to just fire off a tweet, they systematically ripped the pretty girl to shreds. Yay for girl power and all that. Anyway, director Mark Romanek (the guy who directed all your favorite video from the 90s that weren’t directed by Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry) sat down with Vulture to address the controversy.
We simply choose styles of dance that we thought would be popular and amusing and cast the best dancers that were presented to us without much regard to race or ethnicity. If you look at it carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece. 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.
I don’t know about you, but what’s more “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful”? A dorky white girl with no real perspective on herself or love life trying to be funny and endearing, or a black artist in a thong rapping about giving up the ass to a coke dealer? I wonder which one young, impressionable black girl will pay more attention to? But if we want to argue this while martial law and racial tensions that have nothing to do with a skinny white girl in a ballerina outfit burn Ferguson to the ground, I guess we can. Let me go grab another coffee right quick. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.