In a new music video, Taylor Swift appears to show support for Tennis star Serena Williams in which she re-creates a clash between a tennis player and a line ump as a way to portray “toxic masculinity.”
In the new video, entitled The Man, released on Thursday, Swift undergoes a makeup change over, and is made into a bearded, entitled white man who spends the video manhandling women, flaunting wealth and “manspreading” in a subway.
But toward the end of the video “the man” goes on a tirade against an umpire during a tennis match. The sequence appears to mirror the incident at the 2018 U.S. Open when Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of penalizing her unfairly only because Williams is a woman.
During her match against Naomi Osaka, Ramos handed Williams several penalties. First when he felt her coach was giving her hand signals from the stands, then a point penalty for smashing a racket, and then a game penalty for verbal abuse for confronting the ump.
At a post-game press conference, Williams claimed that Ramos would have excused some of her actions if she was a man, and then proclaimed that she was “fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff.”
“For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark,” Williams said of the penalties she faced. “He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me, it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.”
Despite her protestations, at least one of the penalties Ramos assessed seems to have been the right call. Not long after the game, Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratouglo, admitted he was giving the player signals from the stands.
In any case, Swift may have been alluding to the U.S. Open incident in the new video. After all, the singer has been friends with Williams going back as far as 2015. Williams has even appeared onstage at a Taylor Swift concert.
Many fans of Swift’s fans and others noted the similarities between Williams’ actions at the U.S. Open and Swift’s new video:
Serena was criticised for her reaction at the US Open final, even though men who've reacted worse in the past were just called "passionate"
Taylor including this in the video for "The Man" while literally singing "If I was a man, then I'd be the man" whew pic.twitter.com/0KDIVyEhEW
— notagainben (@NotAgainBen) February 27, 2020
In Taylor Swift's new music video, a "massive mantrum" occurs on the tennis court. 🎾
— TENNIS (@Tennis) February 27, 2020
Not that I needed more reasons to love @taylorswift13…
In her new #TheManMusicVideo she pays homage to Serena Williams – and her fight for gender equality in the sport.
This scene was referencing the US Open incident when she was mocked by the media. pic.twitter.com/gM6k5GsD8v
— Taylor Fieux (@tayfieux) February 27, 2020
— Kenny M (@kennaymart) February 27, 2020
“they’d paint me out to be bad so it’s okay that i’m mad”
— keesha (@holygr0und) February 27, 2020
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