By Shannon Carlin

Taylor Swift dances a lot in her new video for her latest single “Shake It Off.” She tries out ballet, does a little interpretive dance and even gets a little futuristic á la Lady Gaga. But it’s the shots of her trying to twerk and then crawling underneath a slew of African American women as they twerk that has some people calling foul. So now the real question is, can Taylor shake this off?

Related: Taylor Swift Premieres New Song ‘Shake It Off,’ Announces Album ‘1989’

Earl Sweatshirt took to his Twitter yesterday (Aug. 18) to talk about the video, which he admitted he hadn’t actually seen yet, but felt it was “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful.”

He continues by writing, “Perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture. For instance, those of you who are afraid of black people but love that in 2014 it’s ok for you to be trill or twerk or say n—a.”

Similar criticism was directed at Miley Cyrus after her performance at the MTV VMAs last year and Lily Allen for her “Hard Out Here” video, both of which featured African American women twerking.

Not everyone agrees with Earl’s take on Swift’s new video though. On Tumblr, a man who goes by the name Orhgasm and calls himself “a proud a– black man,” writes that Swift’s video was “not problematic or even close to racist.”

He writes:

If you bothered to watch the video, the video was about being happy and dancing and celebrating other people’s dancing. One of them happened to include twerking. Taylor was not ‘cultural appropriating’ anything and she wasn’t ‘being racist’ by only having black women in that part of the video. there are many other african americans in the video and in her many other videos so even calling her racist means you need to log out. She was celebrating people’s dancing and how they celebrate music throughout the video and a large variety of black woman twerk. Would it honestly make sense if Taylor had 100 or so white girls try to twerk? Either way, y’all would still throw hate or shade either way. But calling her racist is the s–t I don’t stand for because she isn’t.

This post was shared nearly 1,300 times. Sweatshirts tweets were favorited by over 5,200 people on Twitter.

Swift’s new album, 1989 will be available Oct. 27.

Read all of Earl Sweatshirt’s tweets below.


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