Outrage Watch: Another Taylor Swift controversy is heating up

07.22.15 2 years ago

Welcome to Outrage Watch, HitFix's semi-regular rundown of entertainment-related kerfuffles. Not anxious enough already? Get your fix of righteous indignation below, and stay posted for outrage updates throughout the week.

Is Taylor Swift a copycat?

That's the charge being lobbed today (and, as pointed out by Jezebel's The Muse, for awhile now) by fans of top-selling K-Pop group 2NE1, whose music video for “Come Back Home” (released in March of last year) bears some admittedly striking similarities to T-Swift's “Bad Blood” clip (released this past May). The story was first reported by Kpopstarz back in May but seems to be bubbling up again in part thanks to yesterday's heavily-publicized T-Swift/Nicki Minaj debacle. Here's a side-by-side screenshot comparison of both videos:


Photo Credit: YouTube/Kpopstarz

So do the visual parallels constitute plagiarism on Swift's part? Homage? Or simply an accidental convergence of influences? Many 2NE1 fans seem convinced of the first possibility:

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Jezebel writer Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is also suspicious of the similarities. As she wrote in her piece this morning:

“While the overall plot is very clearly different- 'Bad Blood' has more of a Bond-style action theme, where 'Come Back Home' focuses on more clearly sci-fi elements of revolution and virtual reality-it”s well known that music videos are storyboarded as meticulously as any movie, and where the specific video shots do cross over, they are nigh identical.”

Escobedo Shepherd also suggests that South Korean-born “Bad Blood” director Joseph Kahn should have known better, pointing to an interview he gave with the Korea Times last November:

“Alternately, in November, he spoke with the Korea Times about getting back to his 'Korean roots,' and that he 'pay[s] full attention to what”s going on in my field, it”s my job.' It seems highly unlikely that any storied, thorough music video director would have missed a high-profile video from arguably K-pop”s most celebrated girl groups.”

So what do we do with all of this? The way I see it, there are four options: 1) accept the claims of all the T-Swift haters/doubters wholeheartedly, 2) tell the 2NE1 fans to step off, 3) go on with your life or — more radically — 4) decide for yourself how you feel about it.

Both videos embedded below.

“Bad Blood”:

“Come Back Home”:

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