Joseph Kahn, a 44 year old professional who directed Taylor Swift’s music video ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ decided it would be great publicity to send Beyoncé’s beehive into a frenzy. The director received backlash after Taylor Swift released still photos from bits of her new video.
Many fans of Beyoncé said that it appeared as if her famous song ‘Formation’ was copied. Some of the similarities included both singers wearing a black tank top, and walking in a horizontal line. However, a black tank top is a common article of clothing, and walking in a horizontal line certainly is not unheard of.
Joseph Kahn originally tried to be nice about the rumors, and talked about how he had previously worked with Beyoncé. He mentioned how much he loved and respected Beyoncé’s work while politely saying that ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ was not at all a rip-off of anything that she produced.
Things escalated quickly and Beyoncé’s fans were having none of it. Joseph Kahn went from politely denying the situation to saying, “It’s not ‘Formation’ at all.” He continued, “They try to say she’s wearing a black crop top and Beyoncé wore a black crop top. But they don’t realize in 2015 in ‘Bad Blood,’ Taylor Swift was wearing a black crop top. I really do think, by the way, that Beyoncé copied ‘Bad Blood.”
As one could imagine, this only made things much worse. His emphasis on something as trivial as a tank top really seemed to upset people so he decided to run with it and make it into a way to generate more interest for the upcoming video that he is directing.
He tweeted things such as, “Article where I said Beyoncé copied Bad Blood tank tops. Seriously, do you think I give a fuck about tank tops lol.” Another tweet stated, “The most controversial thing about BODIED so far is that I made a joke about tank tops. At 11:59 PM tonight, the real talk begins.” Hilariously, he also said, “Shit, I only have two days to piss off the world before the BODIED premiere. I gotta focus.”
Joseph Kahn was not the only person to receive backlash for their part in Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ video. Todrick Hall was a featured dancer in the piece, and he was labelled as a “sell out.”
In an interview he stated, “One of the main things that people said was, ‘He wanted to make his money. Well, good for him, he got paid. And I guess payment is enough for you to sell out your family, your people, your community.’ But this had nothing to do with money. I didn’t do this Taylor Swift video for money.”
He added, “I did it because she’s my friend, and she was very excited about it. And she wanted people to be there who she could trust, because it was a very big undertaking. I was proud to be there, but money was not a factor for me. I don’t do things for money.”
In regards to the rumors that he helped Taylor Swift copy Beyoncé’s work, Todrick Hall also said, “They saw a clip, just a few seconds, that featured Taylor Swift standing in a line of dancers, and they started forming all types of conclusions. I was just very confused by that, because I knew that there was nothing ‘Formation’-esque or ‘Lemonade’-esque about the video.”
He continued, “Artistically, I didn’t feel that was the case. I’m a humongous Beyoncé fan. I’ve worked with Beyoncé. I’ve choreographed for Beyoncé. And I would never intentionally be a part of art that I felt was ripping off my favorite artist of all time. But I felt like these were two completely different lanes.”