Taylor Swift is the reigning champ for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards for “You Need to Calm Down,” and she might be gunning for another win for “The Man,” which she premiered on February 27. What do you think of her take-down of toxic men and the double-standards that benefit them? Watch it above.
Swift directed the video herself, in which she stars under extensive makeup as the title character, who takes advantage of his male privilege by man-spreading on the subway, berating his employees, throwing a tantrum at a tennis referee, and partying with sexy women on a yacht (the actor voicing the Man at the end there is actually Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). “I’m so sick of running as fast I can / Wondering if I’d get there quicker / If I was a man,” she sings. “If I was out ﬂashing my dollars / I’d be a bitch, not a baller.”
If “The Man” were a feature film, it might give “Bombshell” a run for its money for the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar, and she might want to keep the artist on retainer if she ever needs to avoid the paparazzi. But that’s not the only impressive achievement behind the scenes. The director of photography for the video is Rodrigo Prieto, who earned Best Cinematography Oscar nominations for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), “Silence” (2016) and “The Irishman” (2019).
Swift has been widely scrutinized for her romantic and professional relationships, and she has commented on her image before in song, clapping back at her critics in “Mean,” “Shake it Off” and “Look What You Made Me Do,” and decrying social media haters (while drawing parallels to gay rights) in “You Need to Calm Down.” What do you think of her latest commentary, and where does it stand on her all-time list of greatest hits?