Taylor Swift rises from the grave, literally, in her video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” which debuted during Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, hosted by Katy Perry.
In the clip, Swift confronts her old videos — again, literally, as she stands on a pile of Swifts from earlier clips, including “Shake It Off,” “You Belong With Me,” “Bad Blood,” “Out of the Woods.” The video concludes with a sketch where multiple Swifts, including “surprised face” Swift, zombie Swift, and a Swift making sure to keep the receipts stand around slagging each other with insults. The video ends with one of the Swifts quoting Swift herself in reference to Swift’s feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian: “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.”
She also sends a message to her former friend Perry, wearing a cat mask that is similar to a design featured in Perry’s “Dark Horse” music video. Swinging a bat in what appears to be a music-streaming company, Swift is wearing a tiger sweatshirt — a clear reference to Perry’s lyric “I got the eye of a tiger” in “Roar.” Famously, Swift’s music returned to Spotify the same week that Perry’s new album Witness debuted.
The video also references Swift’s triumphant legal battle against former radio host David Mueller, who Swift accused of groping her at a concert on her Red tour in 2013. A judge rewarded Swift $1, which she requested. At one point in the music video, Swift is seen in a bathtub surrounded by jewels and a $1 bill.
Swift’s big debut follows a tease of the video on Good Morning America Friday, which had the Beyhive comparing the visuals — specifically a shot of Swift surrounded by male dancers — to visuals from Beyoncé’s Lemonade album.
Swift dropped the angsty song late Thursday night, sparking mixed reactions on social media. The song seemingly addresses her feuds with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry, as well as the media’s portrayal of her.
Though Swift was not scheduled to perform at the VMAs, rumors have run rampant that she would take center stage at the show, which is being hosted by former friend Perry.
The 27-year-old pop culture fixture has remained largely out of the spotlight in 2017, but still managed to score a nomination in the best collaboration category for “I Don’t Want to Live Forever,” her duet with Zayn Malik on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.