Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams’ Music Video Accused of Being Racist

at 7:53 pm | By
What Is Cultural Appropriation?
Let Zendaya explain it to you.
Is 'Shake It Off' Racist?
Taylor Swift is accused of perpetuating black stereotypes.

Taylor Swift, who’s already proven to the world that she hasn’t quite grasped the true meaning of intersectionality just yet, has been accused of being a racist.

The backlash began when Swift premiered her music video for “Wildest Dreams,” which depicts a love story set during a time in history when Africans were exploited by Europeans. Many were quick to point out how the visuals played like a romanticized colonial-era Africa complete with an all-white cast.

The video, which was shot in southern Africa, barely had any depictions of people of color.

“She packages our continent as the backdrop for her romantic songs devoid of any African person or storyline, and she sets the video in a time when the people depicted by Swift and her co-stars killed, dehumanized and traumatized millions of Africans, James Kassaga Arinaitwe, a Global Health Corps member and public service worker from Uganda, and Viviane Rutabingwa, the Kenyan and Ugandan Global Health Corps alumni, wrote in an article on NPR. “That is beyond problematic.”

Following the plethora of negative reviews, Swift’s team quickly went into crisis mode as director Joseph Kahn, who worked with the songstress on “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood,” hit back on accusations of white-washing and romanticizing a brutal time in African history. Ironically, Kahn misspelled the actual word “Botswana” in his defense.

He also claimed the video possibly couldn’t have been racist because black people had worked on it, employing the “I’m not a racist! I have a black friend!” argument.

In a separate interview, Kahn explained of the choice to white-wash the cast, saying, “We collectively decided it would have been historically inaccurate to load the crew with more black actors as the video would have been accused of rewriting history. This video is set in the past by a crew set in the present.”

Chancler Haynes, who edited “Wildest Dreams,” also defended the music video, noting that proceeds from its advertisements will go to African Parks Foundation of America.

However, this was not the first time one of Swift’s videos was deemed a little racist. Just over a year ago, Swift was accused of cultural appropriation and perpetuating stereotypes in her “Shake It Off” music video after featuring a predominately black cast in its twerking segment, but white dancers in the ballet scene.

One of the biggest critics, Earl Sweatshirt of the hip hop collective Odd Future, wrote in a series of tweets:

Needless to say, Swift is still involved in some sort of racial controversy today.

So, is “Wildest Dreams” really all that racist? Whatever the case may be, let’s just hope Tay’s next video won’t take place on a plantation.