Nothing to see here, supposedly.
The Beyhive has been out in full force since Friday, when Taylor Swift debuted a new clip from the upcoming video for her new single, "Look What You Made Me Do." The reason? Potential cultural appropriation.
The full version of the video is set to premiere tonight (August 27th) at the MTV Video Music Awards, giving her a big platform to continue the calculated roll out of her new material. However, not all is well where Beyonce fans are concerned, with Twitter users dragging Taylor and her production team for potentially ripping off the video for the singer's smash single "Formation," which was also a track that wasn't afraid of turning heads. Specifically, fans are pointing to a scene where Taylor is standing flanked by male backup dancers in a mansion, all while donning a black leotard that is eerily similar to what Queen B wore in "Formation." However, according to Teen Vogue, Swift's music video director has come out against the conspiracy theorists and insists that cultural appropriation was never his intention whatsoever.
Joseph Kahn, who helmed the shoot for "Look What You Made Me Do" video, responded to the accusations on Twitter with a tweet of his own. "I’ve worked with Beyoncé a few times. She’s an amazing person. The #LWYMMDvideo is not in her art space. Love and respect to Bey," he wrote. Kahn's work with Beyonce actually goes back to her Destiny's Child years, when he was part of the production team that was behind the music videos for "Say My Name" and "Jumpin’ Jumpin." He's also directed a number of other visual treatments for Taylor Swift songs, including the one for "Bad Blood," which was her Kendrick Lamar team-up from her last album, 1989.
Overall, this could be a case of artistic coincidence, but given Taylor Swift's supposed penchant for being vindictive, it's not entirely implausible that she would be using a similarly militant music video as inspiration for how to make a statement. Neither Beyonce or Taylor have commented on the rumored rip-off publicly, but seeing the full version could be a big indicator as to how much, or how little, "Look What You Made Me Do" actually borrows from existing material from Bey's canon.