Sarcasm appears to be the only thing “Wildest Dreams” director Joseph Kahn can work better than a camera. The award winning director has collaborated with a who’s who of American rap, dance and pop artists, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Beyonce. Some even believe he might be the best music video director of all time.
“Wildest Dreams” is the third video Joseph has directed for Taylor Swift, following the successes of “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” which together won a total of three VMAs, including 2015’s Video of the Year Award. But several media outlets have criticized “Wildest Dreams” for racial insensitivity. National Public Radio thought that the video presented “a glamorous version of the white colonial fantasy of Africa,” while The Daily Dot suggested that it celebrated “old-school Hollywood racism.”
Joseph fired back on Twitter, defending himself, his team and the video with a series of sarcastic tweets. Some of the reports in the media didn’t seem to recognize that the entire senior creative team on “Wildest Dreams” were people of color – the video’s producer Jil Harden and editor Chancler Haynes are both African American and Joseph is originally from South Korea. The director’s tweets range from poking fun at his own South-Korean heritage to suggesting that he can’t be racist if he has black friends.