Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video directed by Joseph Kahn was criticized this week for being “racist” and that it promotes “White colonialism.”
Director Kahn defended the video following the criticism that it was promoting a “White colonial fantasy” and that all the actors in the production appeared to be white, for the exception of several barely visible black cast members. The Huffington Post was critical of the video saying that it was, “embodying the political exploitation of a region and its people.”
NPR also slammed the video production and Taylor Swift in particular saying that the proceeds of the video were going to rangers and guides who were Black Africans yet her video was not showing any of them.
Kahn highlighted the fact that “Wildest Dreams” was a 1950s period piece taking place on a film set in Africa, and had nothing to do with colonialism. He went further to point out that he was an Asian American and that the video’s producer, Jil Hardin, and the editor of the video, Chancler Haynes were both African American.
After defending the production in an email that was published by NPR, the director wrote several comments about the backlash on Twitter
“Sad thing is when people make false accusations of racism and the public rejects it, it makes real racism harder to fight.”
He also highlighted that he had “25 years of most diverse multicultural work of possibly anyone” to his Twitter followers.
Kahn’s credits include Dr Dre’s “Kush,” “Can’t Remember to Forget You” with Shakira feat. Rihanna and Taylor Swift’s recent critically acclaimed action packed “Bad Blood” music video.