Taylor Swift is proving a point. On Thursday, the 30-year-old singer dropped the music video for the fan-favorite track off of her latest album, Lover.
In the video, which was directed by Swift herself, the pop star brings her powerful lyrics to life by dressing up as a businessman and displaying the kind of toxic behavior the lyrics describe. Fans previously guessed this twist thanks to a teaser for the video.
Swift’s man, who was voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, yells at his employees, manspreads and smokes on the subway, parties on a yacht with models, uses a kid to pick up women and discusses females with his equally problematic pals.
Some Easter eggs point to Swift’s feud with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, including an ad on the subway for scotch, similar to a photo the two men took together. Right next to the poster is graffiti that reads: “Greedy.” Additionally on the subway, there’s a sign that features a crossed out scooter, which is likely another dig at Braun.
Toward the end of the video, Swift’s man has an on-court freak out during a tennis match, one that is reminiscent of Serena Williams’ controversial reaction to a referee’s calls at the US Open in 2018. In a fun cameo, Swift’s dad, Scott Swift, plays the ref. In a tweet following the release, Swift called the moment in the video a “mantrum.”
When Swift yells cut on the video, she gives her man the note, “Could you try to be sexier? Maybe more likable this time?” This is before she tells a female extra, “By the way, excellent work over there, Lauren. That was astonishing.”
The final shots in the video showcase Swift’s transformation into “the man” as the screen reads, “Directed by Taylor Swift. Written by Taylor Swift. Owned by Taylor Swift. Starring Taylor Swift.”
One major theory surrounding the video turned out to be somewhat correct, as many Swifties guessed that the track would reference Kanye West, who she’s been feuding with on and off since 2009. The speculation about West began after Swift shared a poster for the video, which featured a hallway full of white arches that looked similar to West’s home. That same hallway was used for a sequence in the video.
That same poster also featured 19 colorful hands in between the arches, which led many to point out that Swift was 19 years old when West interrupted her 2009 MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech.
Some fans thought the the 19 hands imagery meant that there would be 19 cameos in the video, but that proved to be incorrect.
As for the significance of the release date, Feb. 27, fans pointed out that on Feb. 27, 1922, voting rights for women were upheld by the Supreme Court. That historic moment could also be honored by the 19 hands clue, as it’s the 19th amendment to the constitution.
The full music video for “The Man” was the third one that Swift has released in support of the song. She first dropped a lyric video, before putting out a video of herself performing the track live in Paris.
“The Man” video also comes out after the release of her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, which she talked about during a Q&A just prior to Thursday’s release. Here’s a look at the biggest bombshells from the doc.
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