08/21/2014 04:47 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2014

Mark Romanek Responds To 'Shake It Off' Music Video Criticism


Taylor Swift's music video for "Shake It Off" has already made waves for all the wrong reasons. Swift dances and twerks alongside ballerinas and break dancers, and many critics called her out for cultural appropriation. Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt sounded off on Twitter earlier this week, calling it "inherently offensive and ultimately harmful," even though he didn't watch it. In a recent interview with Vulture, the video's director, Mark Romanek, responded to Sweatshirts comments.

"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," Romanek, who has also directed Jay Z's "Picasso Baby," Fiona Apple's "Criminal" and Nine Inch Nails' "Closer, told Vulture. "If you look at it carefully, it's a massively inclusive piece. It's very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And — let's remember — it's a satirical piece. It's playing with a whole range of music-video tropes and clichés and stereotypes."

The director also said that the idea for the video was all Taylor's and that she hoped to portray the "'uncool' kids that are actually cooler than the 'cool' kids."

Even though Earl Sweatshirt wasn't the only "Shake It Off" hater, Romanek reiterated that the video was an "utterly color-blind message."

[via Vulture]



Taylor Swift