By Jessica Goodman
Updated September 02, 2015 at 09:27 PM EDT
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Taylor swift dropped the music video for her latest 1989 single, “Wildest Dreams,” during the MTV VMAs pre-show on Sunday, and after its release the clip was criticized as depicting colonialism. Directed by Joseph Kahn, “Wildest Dreams” was filmed in Botswana and South Africa, and follows Swift and a male character (played by Scott Eastwood) as they make a romantic movie. They’re surrounded by giraffes and fake camera crews.

In a statement issued by Kahn and provided by Swift’s publicist, the director responded to the allegations and said the video was “not about colonialism, but about a love story on the set of a period film crew in Africa, 1950.” He also compared the video to films like Out of Africa and The English Patient, a connection some critics made as well.

Here is Kahn’s full statement:

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