Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams might be turning into a nightmare on elm street! The singer’s latest music video is under major heat from critics, who claim it is racist for its colonial-theme.
Taking place in Africa in the 1950s, the video channels a cinematic old-Hollywood glamour with tons of wildlife shots and an insanely hot male lead, Scott Eastwood. However, one thing is apparent to critics — the predominantly white cast in Africa.
Scott and Taylor’s too-hot-to-handle chemistry may be the main focus of the video, as they play two 1950s era movie stars who are star-crossed lovers. However, taking a look at the video as a whole, including the beautiful wildlife shots and Taylor’s mock film crew, critics are pointing out other factors. There are only two black actors in the film, who happen to play soldiers — and they appear in the background. Everyone else in Taylor’s mock film crew are white.
Taylor’s fantasy in the video is being slammed for depicting colonialism. “We are shocked to think that in 2015, Taylor Swift, her record label and her video production group would think it was OK to film a video that presents a glamorous version of the white colonial fantasy of Africa,” NPR’s Viviane Rutabingwa, who is of African heritage wrote. The Daily Dot’s Nico Lang wrote: “An homage to a love triangle about white colonialists is going to present some, uh, challenges to an artist who just wants to make a three-minute music video to put on her VEVO page – and Taylor Swift found that out the hard way. The video wants to have its old-school Hollywood romance but ends up eating some old-school Hollywood racism, too.”
Since the backlash, the video’s director Joseph Kahn took to Twitter and wrote: “My long time producer Jil Hardin who did Power/Rangers, Blank Space, Wildest Dreams is a black woman FYI. Wildest Dreams is a song about a relationship that was doomed, and the music video concept was that they were having a love affair on location away from their normal lives. This is not a video about colonialism but a love story on the set of a period film crew in Africa, 1950.”
Since its debut at the MTV VMAs on Aug. 30, Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video has made waves, receiving over 10 million views.