Taylor Swift removes “fat” reference from ‘Anti-Hero’ video following backlash

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has made a slight change to the music video for her ‘Midnights’ single ‘Anti-Hero’, removing a shot that some fans have considered to be fatphobic.

The self-directed clip, released last Saturday (October 22), shows Swift repeatedly being put down by an evil version of herself. In one scene, when the “good” Swift steps onto a bathroom scale, the video cuts to a close-up shot of the scale reading “FAT”, followed by a shot of the “evil” Swift shaking her head at the “good” one.

Upon releasing the clip, Swift said it explored her “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts”. Within hours, commenters began expressing disappointment over the scale scene, as well as Swift’s description of her vision for the video. On Twitter, for example, writer and activist Kira-Lynn Ferderber wrote that “art about how your biggest fear is being fat is fatphobic art”.

Though Swift herself has not addressed the criticism, she appears to be aware of it. Overnight, the video for ‘Anti-Hero’ was altered on Apple Music, removing the close-up shot of Swift stepping onto the scale. The scene itself is intact, however it now appears as one continuous shot, from a third-person perspective, of the “good” Swift stepping onto the scale and being scorned by the “evil” Swift.

At the time of writing, though, the video has not been changed on YouTube. You can see the original version – with the scene in question appearing two minutes in – below:

Yesterday (October 26) saw Swift follow the ‘Anti-Hero’ video with a clip for ‘Bejeweled’, where Swift stars as Cinderella alongside Laura Dern and the Haim sisters. Every single track on ‘Midnights’ will be given the “music movie” treatment, as Swift announced last week, with other stars in them including actors Laith Ashley, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, John Early and Mike Birbiglia.

‘Midnights’ arrived at the titular hour last Friday (October 21), with a deluxe edition landing at 3am. Already the fastest-selling record of 2022 (shifting over a million copies as of yesterday), it’s Swift’s 10th studio album, following her 2020 lockdown albums ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, as well as last year’s re-recorded versions of ‘Fearless’ and ‘Red’.

In a four-star review, NME’s Hannah Mylrea wrote that “the country roots [Swift] revisited on her re-recorded albums is nowhere to be found [on ‘Midnights’], and folk influences of her lockdown projects are largely absent. Instead she spins these new stories through sleek synth-pop, in common with ‘1989’ or ‘Lover’, but the razor-sharp production of these albums is more subtle this time around.”

Last week, Swift confirmed that a UK tour in support of ‘Midnights’ will be announced soon; fans who pre-ordered the album will be able to access an exclusive pre-sale for tickets. She teased a tour again on Monday (October 24), saying during her interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: “I think I should do it. When it’s time, we’ll do it. I miss it. I really miss it.”

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