Taylor Swift
Singer Taylor Swift has overtaken Kim Kardashian as the most followed person on Instagram. Here, she arrives at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California August 30, 2015. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” video clip had been under fire recently as many outlets allegedly said that the video just focuses on wild animals and white actors alone, thus glamorising and depicting African colonialism.

Grammy-award winning Joseph Kahn, the director of the video, issued a statement in response to the whitewash accusations the video had been receiving, E! Online reported.

Kahn said that although Swift can be seen with just white actors in the video along with wild animals, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it already glorifies the African colonial period. He further mentioned in defense of the video that it was edited by an African-American man and was produced by an African-American woman and in no way can it be deemed as “racist.”

Regarding the controversial video, an NPR article titled “Taylor Swift Is Dreaming of a Very White America” stated, “Taylor Swift is dressed as a colonial-era woman on African soil. With just a few exceptions, the cast in the video – the actors playing her boyfriend and a movie director and staff – all appear to be white. 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 represents the glamorous version of the colonial fantasy of Africa.”

Vivian Rutabingwa and James Kassaga, writers at NPR, also reiterated in a report on Time: “She packages our continent as the backdrop for her romantic songs devoid of any African person or storyline, and she sets the video in a time when the people depicted by Swift and her co-stars, killed, dehumanized, and traumatised millions of Africans.”

Meanwhile, director Joseph Kahn also mentioned in the report that the feature on white characters was both a matter of historical accuracy and a tribute to movies such as “The African Queen” and “Out of Africa.”

The 25-year-old country singer debuted her new video “Wildest Dreams” at the MTV Music Awards last Sunday and it now has nearly 16 million views since its release. The video tells of a relationship that was doomed, and the music video’s concept is that they have a love affair set in a distant place, far from where they live.

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