Some critics are dissing it for romanticizing white colonialism, and for using Africa as a backdrop for a story about white people.
Tay portrays early-20th-century movie star who falls in love with her married co-star, Scott Eastwood, while filming a movie in Africa. It contains gorgeous shots of the African landscape, animals, and what appears to be no African people. Some say this is inappropriate this day in age. Do you agree?
This isn't the first time Taylor has been accused of 'accidental racism' in her video. After her one for "Shake It Off" debuted last August, rapper Earl Sweatshirt accused the singer of 'perpetuating black stereotypes' with the gold chains and twerking scenes.
"Wildest Dreams" director Joseph Kahn, who also directed Tay's "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood" videos, has defended the video, saying that it's not racist. In a statement provided to Entertain This! by Taylor's representative, he says:
"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. This is not a video about colonialism but a love story on the set of a period film crew in Africa,1950.
There are black Africans in the video in a number of shots, but I rarely cut to crew faces outside of the director as the vast majority of screentime is Taylor and Scott.
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. I am Asian American, the producer Jil Hardin is an African American woman, and the editor Chancler Haynes is an African American man. We cast and edited this video. We collectively decided 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.
There is no political agenda in the video. Our only goal was to tell a tragic love story in classic Hollywood iconography. Furthermore, this video has been singled out, yet there have been many music videos depicting Africa. These videos have traditionally not been lessons in African history. Let's not forget, Taylor has chosen to donate all of her proceeds from this video to the African Parks Foundation to preserve the endangered animals of the continent and support the economies of local African people.
He added to his statement by tweeting:
My long time producer Jil Hardin who did Power/Rangers, Blank Space, Wildest Dreams is a (super hot) black woman FYI http://t.co/S4Koj7XfsU— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn) September 2, 2015