Taylor Swift’s new music video has been out for less than 24 hours, but it’s already causing major controversy. Some people are accusing Taylor’s “Delicate” music video of ripping off a 2016 perfume ad, and after watching both videos back to back, it’s definitely easy to see all of the similarities. But did she actually copy the commercial? It’s unclear whether we’ll ever get a solid answer to that one, so you’ll just have to decide for yourself.
The video for “Delicate” debuted on Sunday night during the 2018 iHeart Radio Music Awards. If you’ve been as obsessed with Reputation as most of the world has been over the last few months, you know that the song is all about realizing you have feelings for someone and hoping they like you back, despite whatever they may have heard about you from others. The song draws from the beginning of Taylor’s relationship with current boyfriend Joe Alwyn, and the video is meant to put her quirkier side on full display. The Broadway-style video has her dancing through a hotel lobby, and no matter how ridiculous she acts, she’s invisible to the other people who are there. At the end, she runs through the rain and finally, her eyes settle on someone at a bar off-screen, and she smiles, at peace.
But now, as fans on Twitter have pointed out, people are starting to realize that the premise of the “Delicate” music video might not be a totally original one. In 2016, famed director Spike Jonze worked with KENZO World on their ad starring Margaret Qualley, featuring Qualley dancing through a theater and making a lot of funny faces that are similar to the ones Swift makes in her video.
Let’s compare. Here’s the “Delicate” video:
AAAAAAnd here’s the perfume ad:
Pretty close, right? They’re similar enough that it seems like Swift (or video director Joseph Kahn) could have been influenced by the ad, though it may not have been an active decision to rip it off. There are some pretty noticeable differences, after all. In the “Delicate” video, Swift is invisible, free to be herself without judgement, but Qualley isn’t. And while the KENZO ad takes place entirely in a theater, Swift changes venues a few times, doing a split on the hood of a car and crawling into a subway car at different points.
Whatever’s going on, we need an explanation NOW. The “Delicate” video is cool, but taking a chunk of your idea from someone else’s work isn’t. Being that the similarities are so blatant, there’s no way it’s just a coincidence, right? But then again, why try to take credit for an idea you know other people will recognize?
What’s up, Swift and Kahn? What happened here? The internet needs to know.