Taylor Swift, who has been wrapped up in mixed reviews for her latest single "Look What You Made Me Do" since it's release on Thursday, dropped the single's music video during Sunday's Video Music Awards.
The video leans completely into a campy new style, with Swift as a literal corpse, digging up the bones of her shattered reputation — seemingly killed by a year of bad press after feuds with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. She then warps into different clichés of celebrities—donning some of her most fashion-forward and glamorous fashion statements yet—evoking imagery reminiscent of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston. And then, before the haters could do it for her, Swift embodies her own past "selves" — the red-lipped Red-era Taylor, the curly-haired and innocent Fearless-era Taylor — to recite her most often quoted criticisms (that her cry face is "fake," that she always plays the victim). She even quotes her own cringeworthy statement post-Kanye and Kim receipts, that she wants to be "excluded from this narrative," and mocks her genetically perfect squad. Of course, there were plenty of snakes.
On Thursday, Taylor Swift announced the premiere of her new music video on social media (where she has been revealing her new, edgy image as well as news about her new album and merch) with a short clip that immediately drew criticism for its similarities to Beyoncé's "Formation" music video. Soon after, music video director Joseph Kahn (who worked on several 1989 music videos as well as "Look What You Made Me Do") quickly took to Twitter to squash the controversy, reassuring that Swift's latest video is not a copycat of Beyoncé's. "The #LWYMMDvideo is not in her art space," Kahn wrote.
"Look What You Made Me Do" have been widely panned since dropping this week, with the song being called a weak revenge anthem that perpetuates Swift's narrative of victimization in feuds. And that doesn't include the plethora of memes the internet has crafted around her album cover.
Despite that, the lyric video for Swift's first single broke the record for the biggest YouTube debut garnering more than 19 million views in just 24 hours — it currently has more than 37 million views. And according to US Weekly, the song also broke streaming records on Spotify and is on track to sell 500,000 digital copies in its first week, breaking Adele's record from 2015.
Watch the full video, below:
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