Updated 01:25 PM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Taylor Swift ‘Wildest Dreams’ Music Video Whitewashing Africa? Director Defends Singer

  • +
  • -
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE

From country to pop, Taylor Swift may be America's Sweetheart, but that does not mean nobody would throw shade at her, ever. Sure she's loveable as cotton candy, but her latest video, "Wildest Dreams" isn't what people were expecting, although many pointed out that it was pretty wild of her to dream of a white Africa.

The director, Joseph Kahn, defended the music video in a statement via Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday, saying, "We collectively decided it would have been historically inaccurate to load the crew with 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."

In case you're wondering what he meant by being historically inaccurate, "Wildest Dreams" as pointed out by CBS News, is set in 1950s Africa, and portrays the singer-songwriter as an actress who fell in love with her co-star.

Kahn (who is Asian, by the way) said about the video, "There is no political agenda in the video. Our only goal was to tell a tragic love story in classic Hollywood iconography."He pointed out that the video is an homage to old Hollywood iconic films such as "The African Queen" and "Out of Africa". He also explained that the key input for the video came from people with color, including his longtime producer Jil Hardin and video editor Chancler Haynes, who are both black.

Still, it didn't stop social media users and critics from skewering Swift about her set. Viviane Rutabingwa and James Kassafa Arinaitwe, for instance, wrote in their commentary for NPR: "Taylor Swift is dressed as a colonial-era woman on African soil. With just a few exceptions, the cast in the video -- the actors playing her boyfriend and a movie director and his staff -- all appear to be white. We are shocked to think that in 2015, Taylor Swift, her record label, and her video production group would think it was okay to film a video that presents a glamorous version of the white colonial fantasy of Africa."

They also said, "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."

That being said, Kahn pointed out that despite complaints about the video, "Let's not forget, Taylor has chosen to donate all of her proceeds from this video to the African Parks Foundation to preserve the endangered animals of the continent and support the economies of local African people."

Do you think "Wildest Dreams" whitewashed Africa, or is this a case of over-sensitivity about racial topics?

© 2015 Latin One. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE


Real Time Analytics