Taylor Swift Accused of 'Perpetuating Black Stereotypes'
New video for 'Shake It Off' riles more than a few
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2014 10:54 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Taylor Swift announced her upcoming album, 1989, Monday by releasing a music video for the first single, "Shake It Off." The video features, among other things, Swift dancing alongside twerking, break-dancing black back-up dancers—and not everyone is happy about it, Salon reports. Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt tweeted that the video (which he didn't actually watch) was "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." His bandmate Flan Emoji also weighed in, the Daily Mail reports: "You know what this Taylor Swift video is missing? Some nice graffiti by Bieber. Let's be urban, everyone!"

And Jezebel notes that, considering the situation in Ferguson, Swift "picked the wrong week for this sappy, ready-made Target commercial cut where she celebrates her true self by crawling through a bridge of brown and black women’s butts." As Forrest Wickman points out on Slate, Swift appears to be positioning herself "as the anti-Miley. ... The message is that she could never appropriate something like twerking and make it convincing," because, among other things, she is known to be "a bad dancer." But, responds Prachi Gupta on Salon, it's impossible to deny that Swift is still "participating in racial cross-dressing, blanketed in gold chains and sporting a tight updo, a white woman dressed as a caricature of a black woman, leading a team of black backup dancers."

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Jan 30, 2015 3:25 PM CST
After watching the video, I can say with full confidence that Earl Sweatshirt (and really any person who thinks like him), should eff off. Seriously. Ignoring that not all of the twerking dancers were black. They are completely ignoring the other racial stereotypes that are perpetuated using their logic. All the ballet dancers in the video are white. Are we to now assume that this perpetuates some white stereotype about whites? Or worse, the complete ignorance that Taylor Swift's song which is about not being a good dancer would perpetuate the myth that white people can't dance (Taylor Swift being white). For the record, I don't care about whether this video is perpetuating white stereotypes. I don't think it does anyway. But I'm sick and tired of people complaining about their race's stereotypes being perpetuated but being completely mum to negative stereotypes about other races. Particularly, how white stereotypes are completely ignored by those professing against stereotypes. And let's be honest here, the stereotype for blacks is that they can dance well. That's a stereotype with a positive connotation. While the one for whites is not positive. So again, eff off Earl.
Nov 7, 2014 7:54 PM CST
We are the most imitated. Let her make her money. I don't really care either way, I hardly listen to hip hop (unless its talib kweli, mos def, or Lupe fiasco), but I know alot about iron maiden, devil wears prada and gear. Shock value makes money
Nov 7, 2014 3:04 PM CST
I don't follow much pop music, but wasn't Taylor Swift's award a few years ago ruined by some Black guy singer who decided the judges were wrong, and the award should go to a Black singer? Can you imagine if a white had interrupted an award being presented to a Black singer because he thought the prize should have gone to Taylor Swift? There would have been riots. Black racism is the most prevalent racism in America; the racism the media ignore.