Hmmm

Did Taylor Swift “Borrow” From This Queer Artist?

Last Friday, Taylor Swift dropped her music video for the song “Anti-Hero,” which comes from the new album Midnights. The album overall has been enormously successful, quickly earning the top grossing spot for 2022. But one independent artist and self-described “Swiftie” is now alleging that some aspects of the new video, which Swift directed herself, may have been copied from their work.

The video involves Swift facing down a doppelganger version of herself in a series of self-destructive scenes. Right away, Manuela—an indie musician from Bakersfield, California—noticed similarities to their visual EP “Glimmers,” released back in April. They uploaded a side-by-side comparison on Instagram, saying, “I’m literally a Swiftie, so it’s simultaneously painful and such an honor to even beg this question — am I on a moodboard??”

 

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Both videos feature their protagonists coming face-to-face with alternate versions of themselves, which admittedly is not an original idea. Swift herself has used the doppelganger theme in multiple other videos. At the same time, the videos do feature some similar, specific imagery.

Both use purple glitter and dollhouse scenes as visual motifs. Both show protagonists climbing onto similar rooftops, with one shoving the other off (this last part occurs on a bed in “Ant-Hero”). Most conspicuously, Swift’s video features a top-down view of a plate that has the exact same pattern to one shown on Manuela’s Instagram.

Manuela has since followed up on an Instagram story, writing, “I know that so many ppl who follow me and I’m asking for help from are terrified to side with me bc it implies that they’re against Taylor. She is POWERFUL. Who wouldn’t be terrified?

“But please: How do you think this whole thing makes me, a Swiftie, feel? Can you picture me staying up to listen to Midnights and to watch the ‘Anti-Hero’ music video premiere only to watch my work play out at me? A #1 trending video on YouTube a copy paste of mine. Having to read promo posts that wink at a concept album like mine. Unfortunately, I will not be shutting up about this anytime soon.” Manuela has found at least one high-profile supporter in Kehlani, who shared the post on their Instagram story.

Taylor Swift, meanwhile, has not yet commented on the similarities in the videos and the photo.

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