Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams and the video controversy

The current pop queen Taylor Swift just cannot catch a break. With the release of her fifth album entitled 1989, she has already released a number of chart topping hits. Her latest, “Wildest Dreams” is a beautiful ballad which she penned with Max Martin and Shellback, in which Swift sings about her fictional past lover and her plea for him to remember her. The song itself received favourable reviews and reached number 5 on the Billboard chart. Wildest Dreams continues Taylor Swift’s trend of reaching the top 10 and this single is Swift’s 5th consecutive song released from her album 1989 to make the Billboard top 10.

While there is little to criticize about the song itself, the accompanying music video has been criticised by many as a throwback to while colonialism in Africa. Is this criticism fair? The video itself is set back in the 1950’s with parts of the video shot in the Serengeti, Tanzania and other parts in California. It was directed by Joseph Kahn who worked previously with Taylor Swift on her other videos including Bad Blood, one of Taylor Swift’s most popular music videos. In Wildest Dreams, Taylor Swift plays an actress who falls in love with her co-star when filming a movie in Africa, during the golden age of the movies. The premise is that back in the 1950’s if would be impossible for two actors isolated in Africa to not fall in love having been in contact with each other throughout the filming and being on set every day. In the video, Swift and her co-star fall in love and have a fight during the filming. The video was shot in part in Africa and include wonderful scenery and scenes of the wildlife. However, the critics noted the lack of actual African’s in the video itself and criticised the video for glamourizing while colonialism taking place back then in Africa, when the colonial period was in reality a brutal endeavor against the Africans. Maybe political correctness has gone too far. Taylor Swift intended no such message in her video and Taylor Swift is certainly not a racist. It’s a love song about lovers in the 1950’s. Nothing more and nothing less. There was no political message intended. It’s a song. Just chill and enjoy it.

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