Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' video under fire for its 'glamorous white colonial fantasy'

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Taylor Swift Debuts 'Wildest Dreams' Video,  Makes Out with Scott Eastwood


Taylor Swift is once again coming under fire for one of her music videos.

On Sunday, Swift released the music video for her new single off 1989, "Wildest Dreams," which has been viewed more than 12 million times in just under three days. However, it is already catching heat for what some are seeing as racial insensitivity.

The story depicted in the video tells the tale of two 1940s-era movie stars (Swift and The Longest Ride star Scott Eastwood) who, for most of the video, are shooting a film on-location in the African desert.

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As NPR pointed out in a lengthy critique titled "Taylor Swift Is Dreaming Of A Very White Africa," despite the video being shot partially in Africa, black performers are not prominently featured on screen, though some of Africa's native animals -- lions, zebras, giraffes and cheetahs – are. There appear to be two black actors playing soldiers; however, they only appear in the background during several moments of the music video.

"Taylor Swift is dressed as a colonial-era woman on African soil. With just a few exceptions, the cast in the video — the actors playing her boyfriend and a movie director and his staff — all appear to be white," NPR contributors Viviane Rutabingwa and James Kassafa Arinaitwe write in their commentary of the video. "We are shocked to think that in 2015, Taylor Swift, her record label and her video production group would think it was okay to film a video that presents a glamorous version of the white colonial fantasy of Africa."

See photos from Swift's 1989 tour:

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Taylor Swift's 1989 tour
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Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' video under fire for its 'glamorous white colonial fantasy'
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 26: Singer/songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Mick Jagger perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour live in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena at Bridgestone Arena on September 26, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 03: Taylor Swift and Mick Jagger perform at the United Center on June 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Taylor Swift, musician Joan Beaz and actress Julia Roberts take a bow on stage during Swift's 'The 1989 World Tour' at Levi's Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by John Medina/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriters Alanis Morissette (R) and Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriters Alanis Morissette (L) and Taylor Swift perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Natalie Maines of the band Dixie Chicks perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift (L) and Natalie Maines of the band Dixie Chicks perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (L) and comedian Ellen DeGeneres perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (L) and comedian Ellen DeGeneres perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (L) and comedian Ellen DeGeneres perform onstage during Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at Staples Center on August 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)
FOXBORO, MA - JULY 25: Singer Taylor Swift performs at Gillette Stadium on July 25, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for TAS)
FOXBORO, MA - JULY 25: Singer Taylor Swift performs at Gillette Stadium on July 25, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for TAS)
Singer Taylor Swift performs during her "1989" world tour at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Singer Taylor Swift performs during her "1989" world tour at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Friday, July 10, 2015, in New Jersey. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Singer Taylor Swift performs during her "1989" world tour at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, July 11, 2015, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Singer Taylor Swift performs during her "1989" world tour at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, July 11, 2015, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 21: Taylor Swift performs in The 1989 World Tour at Ziggo Dome on June 21, 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 1989 World Tour on June 13, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 20: Taylor Swift performs live on stage during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 2 at Lanxess Arena on June 20, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Taylor Swift performs at Manchester Arena on June 24, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images for TAS)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23: Taylor Swift performs at The SSE Hydro on June 23, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Getty Images for TAS)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JUNE 29: Taylor Swift brings The 1989 World Tour to 3Arena on June 29, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 20: Taylor Swift performs live on stage during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 2 at Lanxess Arena on June 20, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 19: Taylor Swift performs during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 21: Taylor Swift performs in The 1989 World Tour at Ziggo Dome on June 21, 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images for TAS)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Taylor Swift performs at Manchester Arena on June 24, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images for TAS)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23: Taylor Swift performs at The SSE Hydro on June 23, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Getty Images for TAS)
BATON ROUGE, LA - MAY 22: Taylor Swift performs on stage during 'The 1989 World Tour' at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA on May 22, 2015. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 19: Taylor Swift performs during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 20: Taylor Swift performs live on stage during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 2 at Lanxess Arena on June 20, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 20: Taylor Swift performs live on stage during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 2 at Lanxess Arena on June 20, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images for TAS)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 21: Taylor Swift performs in The 1989 World Tour at Ziggo Dome on June 21, 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 12: Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 1989 World Tour on June 12, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TAS)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Taylor Swift performs at Manchester Arena on June 24, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images for TAS)
BOSSIER CITY, LA - MAY 20: Taylor Swift performs on stage for the 1989 World Tour at CenturyLink Center on May 20, 2015 in Bossier City, Louisiana. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 1989 World Tour on June 13, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 19: Taylor Swift performs during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 19: Taylor Swift performs during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images for TAS)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23: Taylor Swift performs at The SSE Hydro on June 23, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Getty Images for TAS)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 12: Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 1989 World Tour on June 12, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TAS)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 30: Taylor Swift performs on stage during the 1989 World Tour Live at Ford Field on May 30, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for TAS)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 19: 'TS' letters are seen during the 'Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour' night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)
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"Swift's music is entertaining for many," Rutabingwa and Arinaitwe add. "She should absolutely be able to use any location as a backdrop. But she packages our continent as the backdrop for her romantic songs devoid of any African person or storyline, and she sets the video in a time when the people depicted by Swift and her co-stars killed, dehumanized and traumatized millions of Africans. That is beyond problematic."

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They are not the only media pointing out the glaring discrepancy. Many other outlets have raised similar concerns.

"Instead of the cultural appropriation that has become almost status quo in today's pop music, Swift has opted for the bolder option of actually just embodying the political exploitation of a region and its people," wrote Huffington Post reporter Lauren Duca, who said the video channeled "white colonialism."

"It's brave, really," Duca continued. "Almost as brave as moving sensuously in the vicinity of a real-life lion."

(Swift's proceeds from the video will be donated to the African Parks Foundation of America, according to a title card at the end.)

"Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' video is here," wrote Jezebel's Madeleine Davis. "And it's the exact African safari paradise that we were promised! Lions! Elephants! Shirtless Scott Eastwood! And, bizarrely, nary a black person in sight."

WATCH: Taylor Swift and Scott Eastwood Get Steamy in 'Wildest Dreams' Teaser

Many critics remarked that the video appeared to be an homage to the 1985 film Out of Africa, which ended up taking home seven Oscars despite being generally disliked by critics in the years following its release.

"An homage to a love triangle about white colonialists is going to present some, uh, challenges to an artist who just wants to make a three-minute music video to put on her VEVO page—and Taylor Swift found that out the hard way," The Daily Dot's Nico Lang wrote. "Even the most casual observer would have noticed that -- for a clip that's set in Africa -- it's about as white as a Sunday morning farmer's market."

"The video wants to have its old-school Hollywood romance but ends up eating some old-school Hollywood racism, too," Lang added.

However, many of Swift's fans were wildly supportive of the video -- and the star's stunning new brunette look -- and shared their love on Twitter.

Swift has not yet publicly addressed the criticism or responded to ET's request for comment.

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Swift faced similar criticism just over a year ago for the music video to her megahit single "Shake It Off," the first single from 1989. Some said then that Swift was guilty of cultural appropriation and "perpetuating black stereotypes" due to a number of her wardrobes and dance numbers in the video.

Swift recently rocked out in Los Angeles for four days as part of her 1989 World Tour. Check out the video below to see which superstars joined the "Blank Space" singer on stage for her final night in L.A.

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