Mark Romanek, the director of Taylor Swift's video for "Shake it Off," says the clip is not racist as some groups claim.
He tells Vulture.com, "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. 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 controversy was touched off by a tweet from rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who admits that he hasn't even seen the video. Romanek says, "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."
Romanek is an acclaimed video director responsible for many iconic pieces including the clip for Johnny Cash's "Hurt."