Ezra Koenig’s futuristic Netflix anime Neo Yokio stars Jaden Smith as a rich, demon-slaying “magistocrat” named Kaz Kaan, and yet, that’s not even the strangest thing about the show. For example, one of the demons that Smith’s character encounters is a pop star that Koenig does not deny in based on Taylor Swift.
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, when it was mentioned that one of the characters seems to be “a thinly veiled Taylor Swift,” Koenig said that she was definitely part of the character’s inspiration, along with other pop stars like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus:
We wrote this a few years ago, and we wanted to reference stuff going on in New York in a kind of Law And Order way, so this was back when Taylor Swift was moving to New York and going to Knicks games and becoming the face of local tourism. It wasn’t, ‘Oh, let’s roast Taylor Swift.’ It was more just a cool idea: A pop star comes to Neo Yokio. We intentionally made her a mashup of various pop stars. She has blue hair as a nod to Katy Perry and a Southern accent for kind of a Miley vibe.
Everyone in the episode is talking about her, they all have a perspective immediately about who she is and what she represents, and in the end, nobody really has any idea what’s going with her – which is that all she wants to do is destroy the bourgeoisie.