Earl Sweatshirt is one of those people who brand Taylor Swift's brand new "Shake It Off" music video racist. Earlier this week, the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All rapper said on Twitter that he hadn't seen the visuals but he knew it was "inherently offensive and ultimately harmful."
Mark Romanek, who directed the clip, has now responded to the criticism and defended his work. "He stated clearly that he hadn't seen the video and didn't even intend to watch it. 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, which started this whole 'controversy,' " he told Vulture.
"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. And - let's remember - it's a satirical piece. It's playing with a whole range of music video tropes and cliches and stereotypes."
The helmer, who has previously worked with the likes of Johnny Cash, Jay-Z and Nine Inch Nails, went on saying that Swift came up with the idea of "Shake It Off" video. "She wanted to make a sort of paean to the awkward ones, the 'uncool' kids that are actually cooler than the 'cool' kids," he explained.
Romanek added, "I think, if Earl Sweatshirt was open-minded enough to take the four minutes to watch it, he might see what the larger, humanistic, and utterly color-blind message was intended to be."