Dancer and actor Todrick Hall has gone in hard for his mate Taylor Swift in a new interview, calling out her critics as “woke police” and pushing back against claims that her recent ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘ video lifted elements from Beyoncé‘s ‘Formation‘.
When the video was unveiled last week, featuring Hall in a cameo role as a dancer, he faced a swift and severe backlash, with online critics calling him a sellout and accusing him of betraying the black and LGBTQ communities by virtue of his friendship with Swift.
He started off by addressing the criticism that Taylor’s video drew from Bey’s, telling Yahoo News that critics who jumped to this conclusion were off-base:
They saw a clip, just a few seconds, that featured Taylor Swift standing in a line of dancers, and they started forming all types of conclusions. I was just very confused by that, because I knew that there was nothing ‘Formation’-esque or Lemonade-esque about the video. Artistically, I didn’t feel that was the case. I’m a humongous Beyoncé fan. I’ve worked with Beyoncé. I’ve choreographed for Beyoncé. And I would never intentionally be a part of art that I felt was ripping off my favourite artist of all time. But I felt like these were two completely different lanes.
Todrick Hall is a member of the talented, multi-limbed beast that is Taylor Swift’s squad, and expressed dismay that some people are calling him out for his choice of friends.
“Everything I stand for and everything I’ve always stood for is equality and love,” he said, expressing dismay at some of the backlash he’s received:
Apparently there’s a thing called the “cookout,” which is like your invitation to be a part of the black community. Some people have, like, deemed themselves the Woke Police, and they decide to strip you online of your invitation to attend the “cookout.” It boggles my mind that people are deciding whether or not I’m down enough, black enough, or woke enough to be “invited.” If I have to hate people and judge people based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion, then sorry, but I’d rather order pizza.
As for the question of whether he feels he ‘betrayed’ any of his communities by featuring in the video, Hall said an emphatic no:
I’m not apologizing for being a part of the video and doing four eight-counts of choreography in it. I thought it was a great piece of art. I thought it was awesome. It’s broken so many records and I’m proud to be a part of it. I don’t think I’ve sold out my race or my community — the gay community, the black community. I think that I was just in a piece of art that my friend made. I’m not issuing a statement to people about it to explain myself, because there’s nothing to explain. I’m not sorry that I did it, and I don’t think that it was a mistake. If I had a do-over, I would absolutely be there for another eight hours, in heels, dancing with her.
The entire Todrick Hall interview is available here and is absolutely worth a read for the critical levels of sass and lack of fucks given.