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Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ Video Director Mark Romanek Fires Back at Racism Allegations

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

By Philip Cosores

In an informative interview with Vulture, Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off” video director, Mark Romanek, spoke candidly about allegations of racial stereotypes in the much-discussed clip.

Related: 7 Videos That Led Director Mark Romanek to Taylor Swift

In response to rapper Earl Sweatshirt‘s criticism of the video, Romanek said: “[Earl] 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.’ 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.

Related: Earl Sweatshirt Says He Doesn’t Need to Watch Taylor Swift’s New Video to Know ‘It’s Inherently Offensive and Ultimately Offensive’

“If you look at it carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece,” Romanek added. “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.”

Related: Taylor Swift Dance – A Lot – in ‘Shake it Off’ Music Video: Watch

Romanek also detailed how the video came to be (the concept was all Swift’s) and how they were able to keep the video a secret before it was released earlier this week, including no cell phones being allowed on the premises and boom boxes playing metal set up around the location’s perimeter.

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