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

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." (More Taylor Swift stories.)

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