[Rushtalk] Racist negro democrats give Taylor Swift trouble
cwsiv at juno.com
Fri Sep 15 10:35:50 MDT 2017
Todrick Hall speaks out about Taylor Swift video backlash
* 09 01 2017
Todrick Hall in Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” video.
When Taylor Swift shared a 13-second preview of her hotly anticipated
“Look What You Made Me Do” music video last week, it should have been a
celebratory moment for her good friend, the hugely successful
YouTube/RuPaul’s Drag Race/MTV/American Idol/Kinky Boots star and
recording artist Todrick Hall, who’d had to keep his dancing cameo top
secret since the clip was filmed back in May. But instead, Hall was
trolled online by haters, who called him everything from “sellout” to
even a racial epithet, and accused the openly gay performer of betraying
both the black and LGBTQ communities just for associating with Swift.
The “Beygency” went especially hard on Hall (despite the fact that he
had previously appeared in two Beyoncé videos), deducing from a quick
glimpse of his “Look What You Made Me Do” scene that Swift’s video was a
rip-off of Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
Unfortunately, Hall tells Yahoo that this sort of backlash is nothing
new for him; long before he became a member of Swift’s “squad” (after
she praised his work and befriended him on Twitter), he caught this sort
of flak online. In an exclusive chat with Yahoo, Hall speaks candidly
about racism, his relationships with Swift and Beyoncé, dealing with
haters, and moving forward.
Yahoo Music: So when some people saw you dancing in “Look What You Made
Me Do,” they were not pleased, to put it mildly. What exactly happened?
Todrick Hall: 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.
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.
“Sellout” was one of the common names you were called.
Yes, 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. 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.
But there are people online who have a problem with the fact in general
that you and Taylor are friends?
Yes, I have gotten comments from people who are upset and have literally
said the fact that I am friends with a white person is a problem,
because white people don’t possess the ability to love or ever truly
care about black people. And I find that very disheartening. I’ve grown
up in a neighborhood where I went to church with and lived with and went
to school with beautiful black people; when I look at them, I see
myself. But then I was also in a peculiar situation, because I danced in
a dance group where I was the only black person in the dance studio. In
some cases, I was the only black cheerleader in my school. I did theater
where I was the only black person, the “token black person.” And working
at Disney, oftentimes I was the only black person in the show at Disney
World or Disneyland on any given day. And I also did tours where I was
the only black singer; I did a cruise ship where I was the only black
person in the cast. So I’ve been used to being in situations where I’ve
had to find friendships and find love and find similarities. My whole
brand, everything that I stand for and everything I’ve always stood for,
is equality and love. So it’s just really difficult for me to understand
why it is an issue for people, a legitimate issue, that I have white
friends, and that Taylor Swift happens to be one of my many white
Apparently there’s a thing called the “cookout,” which is like your
invitation to be a part of the black community. Some people have, like,
deemed themselves the Woke Police, and they decide to strip you online
of your invitation to attend the “cookout.” It boggles my mind that
people are deciding whether or not I’m down enough, black enough, or
woke enough to be “invited.” If I have to hate people and judge people
based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion, then sorry, but
I’d rather order pizza.
Todrick Hall and Taylor Swift (Photo: People)
What is Taylor really like? Describe your bond.
What people are mostly forgetting is that Taylor Swift really is my
friend. Sometimes because she is a celebrity of such a huge status,
inarguably one of the biggest stars of our generation, people forget
that there is a human side to her, that she has real friends that she
calls and talks to about her real problems. And I call her, and I have
cried on her shoulder about my own relationship issues and family issues
and career issues. We are friends, and so when she asked me to do this
video, I said absolutely. It wasn’t a question for me. I trust her, and
I had no problem doing the video. And I just think that it’s really sad
and shocking that me doing four eight-counts of choreography is enough
to make people feel the need to question my “blackness” or “wokeness.”
Taylor came to see me in Kinky Boots and she stayed after the show for
two hours and met every single person in that cast — took pictures,
signed stuff, met every usher, every custodian, every orchestra member,
every producer and their kids. And then she went outside and met fans
outside the theater afterwards, stayed there for over two and a half
hours after the show and wouldn’t leave until every single person had
been met. There are just very few celebrities in the world who would do
something like that. She didn’t have to do that. She could’ve come to
the show, said hi to me, and left. That’s just what type of person she
is, and what type of person she’s always been. Her parents raised her so
well, and when you’re in the room with them, you can feel that energy.
It just is shocking to me that people will see an image of her and hear
stories online about her, or arguments with other celebrities who she
did not ask to be involved with, who recorded her against her will
without her knowing and then decided to release six-second clips of a
conversation that happened to paint her to be this evil person that I
don’t believe that she is. Come on, we’ve watched millions of episodes
of Law & Order or seen Judge Judy a million times; how are they not able
to conclude that there is something missing from this? If you feel the
need to record someone on video with people there, the intentions may
not have been the most pure.
Some of the criticism Taylor has received recently has to do with the
fact that she has not been politically outspoken in past years, like
some of her peers Katy Perry or Lady Gaga.
Yeah, many people have been tweeting me, “She supports Trump! She
probably voted for Trump!” They’re making this huge assumption, when
Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her
being pro-Trump. But people would still rather believe that she is the
one who is pushing Trump’s agenda. That was one of the major things that
was tweeted at me, and I’m like, “So you are mad that you think she
might support Donald Trump? But you’re not mad that Kanye has been very
openly pro-Trump?” I don’t understand that.
Look, I’m not Taylor Swift, so I can’t speak for her and why she does or
does not choose to speak or not speak about any specific subject matter.
All I know is that she has been nothing but a great person to me. Her
family has welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was a
member of the family. They’ve welcomed every single person I’ve ever
brought around them. I’ve never felt like there was ever a moment that I
couldn’t be myself, and talk about the fact that I’m gay or whatever. At
Thanksgiving, we all sat around and talked about it, and there was
another one of her friends there who was African-American, and we all
sat down and talked about racism and watched 13th on Netflix and talked
about how important it was. It was one of the most beautiful
conversations I’ve ever had, because sometimes as an African-American
person I feel like I can’t voice my opinion about how difficult it is to
be not just an African-American person in the entertainment industry,
but how scary it is to be black in America, in even 2017.
When it comes to Taylor, all I know is that she has been a sweet,
amazing human being to me. When she calls me, it’s hardly ever to talk
about her accomplishments or things that she’s going through. She calls
me and says, “How’s your heart? Are you OK?” I’ve been around her an
awful lot, and if it were some type of crazy, fake façade, I think I
would have figured it out by now. I feel like it’s a genuine part of who
she is, and she’s a human being. Has she made mistakes? Yes. Will she
make mistakes again? Yes. But let the person in America who has not made
mistakes raise their hand.
I think that I’m on my own journey; every artist is on their own
journey. Maybe one day, Taylor will start being super-political, and
using her voice to do thing that people think that she should be doing.
But even then, she will probably be ridiculed for not being vocal
enough, or not being on the right side. I don’t think that there is a
way to win in this industry, so every person has to take their own
journey at their own pace, at their own time, and do what they feel like
is right. All I know is that Taylor has been nothing but sweet to me
since day one, and if she asks me to do a video, I’m absolutely going be
I’m not apologizing for being a part of the video and doing four
eight-counts of choreography in it. I thought it was a great piece of
art. I thought it was awesome. It’s broken so many records and I’m proud
to be a part of it. I don’t think I’ve sold out my race or my community
— the gay community, the black community. I think that I was just in a
piece of art that my friend made. I’m not issuing a statement to people
about it to explain myself, because there’s nothing to explain. I’m not
sorry that I did it, and I don’t think that it was a mistake. If I had a
do-over, I would absolutely be there for another eight hours, in heels,
dancing with her.
EXCLUSIVE: Todrick Hall on How Taylor Swift Pulled Off the 'Look What
You Made Me Do' Music Video
The 32-year-old YouTube star stopped by ET for a Facebook Live
interview, where he revealed secrets behind the video everyone can't
stop talking about!
Is Taylor aware of the heat you’ve gotten for being in her video?
I have talked to her about it, and she has been very uplifting and given
me a lot of information about how when you’re doing big things, there
will always be people who have something to say about it. But I think
that Beyoncé gave me the best advice when I met her. She said, “Don’t
scroll down. Don’t go down and look at comments, and when you do
something as an artist, make a decision and stick to it. You don’t need
to apologize for things that you’ve done.” I use that all the time.
You have gotten this sort of criticism before.
Yeah. In the beginning, it was because I did videos based on stereotypes
of a particular group that put people in a negative light. And so I took
those notes, because I consider myself to be a humble person, and I
tried to apply them, and tried to do less work on my YouTube channel
that stereotyped people, less work that stereotyped my race as being
“ghetto” or “ratchet,” because I did understand the argument. I think
it’s a really difficult thing when you toe the line with comedy, because
there are certain things that some people are going to think is funny,
but then some people are always going to be offended. The political
climate has changed so much over the past months since Donald Trump
became president, and it has just been a very scary place to create
content online. So I tried to do whatever I can to create content that
everyone can love and that is inclusive of everybody.
It’s just something that I deal with every day. I wrote an album about
my life [Straight Outta Oz], about how I fell in love at 19 years old
with a boy who was British and who just happened to be white. I wrote a
song called “Color,” and in the song I say the line, “You’re my favorite
hue.” What I meant by that when I wrote the song was it’s supposed to be
a direct relation to the 1939 Wizard of Oz film, and then everything
turns to color when Dorothy gets to Oz. I felt like my whole world was
black and white before I met this person. But people took that as that
white was my favorite color, and that was what I preferred. People have
assumed that am the type of person that refuses to date people of my own
race or associate with people of my own race. Which, I don’t feel the
need to prove to them that I have in fact dated multiple black men and
Puerto Rican, Latino men. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to
love. I think everyone is beautiful. You fall in love with a person, not
the outer layer of skin.
It’s really frustrating because I don’t think that people realize that
when I got to L.A., I lived in not a great neighborhood. A policeman
drove up onto a sidewalk, got out of the car, pushed my face on the
ground, put my hands on my back, pulled a gun out on me. I have never
felt so scared in my entire life. I have witnessed so many things like
that. It’s very difficult for me to go and spend time in a predominantly
Caucasian neighborhood without the cops being called on me, because
people don’t know why I’m there and they think I look suspicious. I have
had a lot of issues and dealt with racism in the same capacity as a lot
of other people. I have written so many songs, even on Straight Outta
Oz, about the Black Lives Matter movement, because it’s something that
I’m very passionate about. It’s something that I definitely use my voice
and my platform to speak out against. So it’s frustrating that people
who have never met me in person like to make huge, incorrect assumptions
about me and go and scream them and yell them from the rooftops online.
I just strongly feel that if we can’t get along within our own race, and
have to point fingers and yell at people who we think don’t have our
back when we don’t know anything about them — we haven’t listened to the
facts, we haven’t seen the footage, there are no receipts to show that
this person is not a proud African-American person who isn’t down to
fight for equality for everyone’s sake — if we fight with each other so
much that we’re tearing down our own race and our own community, how
does that make us any better than the people in Charlottesville,
carrying the tiki torches? How are we any better than those people, and
how are we ever going to meet in the middle and finally be able to say,
“Let’s be one unified group of people”? I just don’t understand how it’s
possible, and that what makes me so upset.
Online outrage is at an all-time high right now, for sure. Everyone is
I think that we’ve got to figure out a way within our own community to
stop tearing people down and stop making assumptions and looking for
reasons to be mad. I don’t know what is happening in the world right
now, but now is a scary time. People are looking for someone to blame
and someone to point fingers at. I don’t think that Taylor Swift is the
problem with America right now. People can try to make that be the
issue, but there is a much bigger issue here in our country that we need
to look at and recognize, and figure out what we can do to be a part of
making the world a better place, to be nice and sweet and kind to each
other, and to realize that racism is a huge horrible thing that has kept
a lot of people down.
But I think it’s going to take every race, every minority, every gay
person, every trans person, every straight person, waking up and
realizing that we can’t do this alone. We can’t divide into our own
little sections and decide that we’re going to secretly hate each other
and be mad if one person goes over and shakes the hand of somebody on
the other team. We all need to be one team. We all have to go out and
extend an olive branch to each other and try to help each other out and
try to build one another up. That’s the only way that we can be
successful. That’s the only way that we can make this world the
beautiful place that God created it to be. Spread love, and love each
other. That’s what I try to do.
Did you engage with any of your online critics about this video?
I gave no negative tweets, didn’t argue with people on social media, had
nothing to say to them. But I even went so far as to give somebody my
phone number online so they could call me and said, “If you feel I’ve
done something that’s offended you, or if you could shed some light on
as to how me being involved with this video or being friends with Taylor
Swift — other than the fact that she is white and you feel that she is
the epitome of white privilege, the poster child for white privilege …
If there’s anything you can do to shed some light to me as to how I can
be a better example for young African-American kids growing up, then I
would love to talk to you on the phone.” And I meant it. And I talked to
them, and I felt like we came to a good place. I’m a humble person; I’m
not opposed to taking constructive criticism.
There was a time two years ago where I would’ve damn near gotten carpal
tunnel because I would’ve stayed up all night trying to argue back and
forth [on Twitter], thinking, “What would Regina George do?” Now I’m
adopting the policy, “What would Beyoncé do?” So I’m going to kill all
these people with kindness. I’m going to be nice to them, and I’m just
going to prove to them, one by one when they meet me, what type of
person I am. Support my friends, be nice to people, and do what I have
to do to be a good human being and play my part in society and in this
crazy political climate.
Obviously I’m not diminishing the horrible things that have happened to
get us to this point, but at this point we have a choice to either band
together and fight and talk about the real issues and the real problems,
and Taylor Swift is not the problem. If we can all accept the fact that
there is a bigger problem and start having dialogue and talking to each
other — not just with the people that it’s comfortable for us to talk
to, our own people and people who look like us, but to people who might
not understand where we’re coming from or what we’ve been through — then
we might get closer to making this world a unified place, the way that
Michael Jackson sang about in his songs and in his music. While I know
that is not the theme of “Look What You Made Me Do,” I do believe that
is the theme of Taylor Swift’s heart and the person that she truly is on
a personal level.
This Sunday, Todrick Hall headlines Atlanta’s Black Pride promoting the
Positively Fearless, a campaign that educates LGBTQ black people about
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Taylor Swift's music video director stands up for the singer in a tweet
on double standards
Taylor Swift has received a lot of praise — and a lot of criticism —
since she released the music video for her new song, “Look What You Made
Me Do.” Though she’s no stranger to scrutiny (as she addresses in the
song and video), the director of “Loo
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America works when American citizens work.
Freedom and open source the GNU paradigm.
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America works when American citizens work.
Freedom and open source the GNU paradigm.
We Say Good Bye To Joanna And Chip
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