Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” Director Responds To Earl Sweatshirt’s “Uninformed” Criticism

Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off” video was supposed to be a feel-good romp that inspired viewers to let go and have a little fun but many commentators felt the urban dance scene appropriated black culture and perpetuated stereotypes. One of the most vocal critics was Earl Sweatshirt, who called the Mark Romanek-directed visual “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful”.

Romanek responded to the Odd Future rapper’s accusations today (August 21) and vigorously defended his work. “[Earl Sweatshirt] stated clearly that he hadn’t seen the video and didn’t even intend to watch it,” the filmmaker told Vulture. “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.”

“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,” he continued. “If you look at it carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece. It’s very, very innocently and positively intentioned.”

You can read Mark Romanek’s full interview over at Vulture. Do Romanek/Taylor’s ‘positive intentions’ make it ok? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via Pigeons & Planes].

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  • Wow

    There is nothing wrong with the video at all, people just need to get over themselves..

  • Sean


    I’m not a Taylor Swift fan, but I can tell you that this video is about being yourself. It’s in no way meant to show Taylor mocking the dancers, but to show that she doesn’t fit in to any mold and never will. She’s being herself and encouraging others to do the same.

    Honestly, it seems like people have been on one with the notion of “cultural appropriation.” It’s like the world just caught wind of this phrase for the first time and is deciding to pin it on anything that even mildly resembles it.

  • Guillaume

    Please tell me more about how black women like Nicki Minaj help NOT perpetuate those stereotypes.

    Shake It Off is assumed as being funny and ridiculous and it works perfectly!

  • Fan

    I agree with Romanek. That guy that tweeted just made assumptions based on things other said. He himself was not in any position to offer that criticism.

  • TS Fan

    First off, who is Earl Sweatshirt? Second, his “opinion” is about as well-formed and thought out as his ridiculous moniker. Get a life!

  • newfan

    It is refreshing to see such a generous performer let other have the spotlight. Taylor Swift is my new hero. I believe the message of the work is about finding yourself and your own talents and virtues. If you are comfortable with who you are then you can be comfortable with the achievements of those around you.
    As for a racist aspect I did not see one. All performers where treated equally. I recently view another video by a different artist that I did feel was racist. However the artist is black so no one has commented on the dancer in the video that is so heavily spray tanned it appeared that she changed races. That to me was offensive.

  • Fan of TS

    As Earl says himself in one of his songs:

    “Don’t get comfortable and lay on the couchI don’t wanna see your ass laying down Pop that pussy, twerk some. Cause most of these bitches work for nothing. Paid your dues, while you’re Paid In Full”

    He’s kinda biased.