Taylor Swift dropped her new single “Look What You Made Me Do” this week, ringing in a new and much-anticipated era for the singer complete with golden snake merchandise, not-so-subtle Kanye West digs, and a level of perceived scorn and sheer fury not seen by the country-turned pop singer in the past.
While some are ecstatic for new T-Swift music, others are wary that she’s leaning into her Slytherin roots, calling her out for her pattern of playing the victim, as well as her silence during the presidential election and history of problematic white feminism.
One entertaining if savage way Twitter is dragging her new single is by comparing her music video teasers to Beyoncé’s “Formation” video. It’s not a difficult comparison to draw — both are set in aesthetic Southern gothic mansions and feature dancer squads (though Bey’s squad is not, um, segregated.)
"Ok, what's the theme for this video?"
Taylor Swift: "…segregation."
"Excuse me, what?"
Taylor Swift: pic.twitter.com/832V4e7t6Z
— X (@XLNB) August 25, 2017
Lemonade and Minute Maid pic.twitter.com/onBLP9pHvR
— Neal Carter (@nealcarter) August 25, 2017
When Beyoncé did Taylor Swift we got "Daddy Lessons" but when Taylor Swift did Beyoncé we got "Look What You Made Me Do." #ReturnToSender
— Isaac Fitzgerald🤞🏻🖤 (@IsaacFitzgerald) August 25, 2017
"My daddy Pennsylvania,
momma from Pennsylvania,
You mix that Pennsyl with a Vania I am from Pennylvaniaaaa" pic.twitter.com/uJZ2K9fJX7
— Marcia Belsky (@MarciaBelsky) August 25, 2017
Taking inspiration from Bey is a risky move for anyone, but especially for someone repeatedly condemned for her lack of intersectionality and political outspokenness.
UPDATE: Joseph Kahn, the video’s director, has responded to the copycat allegations via Twitter.
“I’ve worked with Beyoncé a few times,” he wrote. “She’s an amazing person. The #LWYMMDvideo is not in her art space. Love and respect to Bey.”
Tune into the VMAs on Sunday to watch the full music video premiere for “Look What You Made Me Do.” One thing it won’t be is boring.