Taylor Swift’s music videos always spark big debates, but this time Ciara - who makes a cameo in You Need To Calm Down - has no time for hateful comments.
Taylor Swift has made her political stance very loud and clear with new music video: You Need To Calm Down. Taken from the highly anticipated sixth album Lover, the song is a colourful and catchy call for LGBTQ+ rights. Behind the candy floss and confetti, Swift has something very important to say.
“You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace, and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate,” she sings before poignantly adding: “’Cause shade never made anybody less gay.”
It’s a far cry from those vengeful Reputation days, with Swift finally using her platform to amplify the issues that truly affect her fans. The fact that she is backing a petition which is calling for legal protection of LGBTQ+ rights in America perhaps further proves this.
As part of the video’s vibrant celebration of LGBT+ communities, Swift enlisted the help of high profile stars including Ru Paul, Queer Eye’s “Fab Five”, Ellen Degeneres, Billy Porter and Todrick Hall. It’s a stark contrast to her previously problematic girl squad from the 1989 album days, which seemed to only include a very specific type of person (white, privileged, supermodel proportions).
And then, of course, the video ends with the reunion of the decade: Katy Perry, dressed as a burger, proving there is “no beef” between the pair as she hugs Swift who is dressed as a portion of fries. It really does feel like a genuine celebration of friendships, forgiveness and feminism.
But, as with pretty much every music video Swift has released, the video isn’t without its controversies.
Many are asking why she has stereotyped homophobes as “redneck Americans” when homophobia is far more nuanced than that. Others are sceptical of the video’s sincerity, citing Swift’s masterful marketing track record as their reasoning. These are perfectly legitimate questions.
Other comments, however, have incited homophobia and hate.
Singer Ciara - who appears in the video as an officiator for the wedding between Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita – has been on the receiving end of such comments for making the cameo. But, judging by the brilliant reaction she gave to a specific comment on Twitter, she has absolutely no time for it.
After sharing a snippet of her scene from the video on Instagram, one follower wrote: “Ciara, you shouldn’t be doing this. We respect you too much. Being at a gay wedding is one thing and joining them together is even more a greater sin. We love you but this is wrong.”
Ciara answered simply but strongly, writing: “Firstly, Christians don’t judge. Secondly, #YouNeedToCalmDown.” She didn’t elaborate because the message really could not be any clearer.
Many of Ciara’s fans also called out the hate by leaving positive comments and backing LGBTQ+ rights within Christian communities.
“For those of you grabbing at the straws of Christianity, please remember to live and let live. We will all face our judgment. Carry on with your day, if you have nothing positive to say,” replied one. “Christians don’t judge!” echoed another.