Members of the Student Government Association discussed concerns with diversity and inclusion in a Taylor Swift lip dub video that was produced as a promotional video for the college on Tuesday.
“[Taylor Swift] hasn’t exactly been good at promoting an intersectional understanding of feminism,” SGA Executive President Emily Solomon said in an interview.
Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interests; Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians and Everyone; and Asian Students for Intercultural Awareness all pulled their sponsorship from the video, according to Dylan Walton, communication studies senator and sophomore.
Solomon, a junior visual and media arts major, said she could not speak to the multicultural groups’ decision to not participate in the video.
“EAGLE was very excited about it but when our president met with [Sam Chase, class of 2018 president], we tried to talk about changing the artist or adding Beyoncé,” Walton, who is EAGLE’s treasurer, said.
Multicultural Commissioner Sheba Wood, a junior performing arts major, suggested that those involved with the video should have reached out to multicultural organizations sooner in the process.
“I could not find myself to be comfortable with it,” Wood said. “The fact that so many organizations have pulled out, and those students pulled out, I worry for the continuing tension that this could cause in our community.”
Alex Clark, an executive producer on the project, sent an email to SGA apologizing for the controversy caused by the video’s choice of artist. He said at the meeting that it will no longer be sponsored by specific organizations but that students can participate as unaffiliated individuals. Clark, a senior visual and media arts major, said that the video could no longer be used as a marketing tool but that he wanted to continue production because of the work students have put into it.
Deputy news editor Martha Schick, who participated in the lip dub, did not edit this article.
This article was written from minutes provided by Executive Secretary Lauren Lewis. The author did not attend the meeting.