Joseph Kahn defends the white colonization comments against Taylor Swift’s new Wildest Dreams saying it was just a video about a doomed love story.
Taylor Swift’s new video Wildest Dreams was premiered at the MTV VMAs. The video was very different from Taylor’s previous badass video Bad Blood which also won the Video of the Year award.
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The video featured Taylor Swift and Scott Eastwood as actors shooting a movie in Africa. The song implies that Taylor’s heroine is infatuated with Scott Eastwood who does not return the same feelings.
The video made the audience reminiscence about the old love balladsTaylor has sung before and a glimpse of her earlier video Style in their somewhere with lyrical similarities. The video itself was different from her earlier video. A sequence where she is wearing a yellow dress flying around her in the wind was like her best friend’s Selena Gomez video.
Still the video got a severe backlash for depicting a white colonized Africa. People making the allegations said it was somewhat degrading. Joseph Kahn, the director of the video came to the rescue with his own statement.
“’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,” Kahn said in a statement. It was a song about a relationship that was doomed.
The basic concept behind the music video concept was that the couple was having a love affair on location away from their normal lives. He said that it was not a video about colonialism but, a love story on the set of a period film crew in Africa,1950.
People have culture war fatigue. Everyone is angry at everything all the time. We're just one long Delete It Fat.— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn) September 2, 2015
He pointed out that there are black Africans in the video in a number of shots. They are however visible and he rarely cut to crew faces outside of the director. It was imperative that vast majority of screen time should have been Taylor and Scott’s.
He added that the video is based on classic Hollywood romances like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as well as classic movies like The African Queen, Out of Africa and The English Patient, to name a few.The reality is not only were there people of color in the video, but the key creatives who worked on this video are people of color.
He pointed out that he was an Asian American, the producer Jil Hardin was an African American woman, and the editor Chancler Haynes is an African American man. He said that they cast and edited this video.
The video format was collectively decided and it would have been historically inaccurate to load the crew with more black actors as the video would have been accused of rewriting history. This video is set in the past by a crew set in the present and we are all proud of our work. He emphasized that there was no political agenda in the video.
The only goal was to tell a tragic love story in classic Hollywood iconography. He expressed dismay that this video was singled out, yet there have been many music videos depicting Africa.
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