Taylor Swift has released the official music video for her song “The Man,” the first video that she has directed by herself.
In the video, Taylor transforms into a man while dressed in prosthetics, a wig, and facial hair. At the end of the clip, her speaking voice is provided by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The man who Taylor plays is essentially the character Leonardo DiCaprio played in Wolf of Wall Street, and she name checks the actor in the lyrics. One scene gives a nod to Serena Williams, who came under fire at the U.S. Open in 2018 for her reaction to a referee. The scene shows “The Man” launching tennis balls at a referee played by Swift’s father.
The video premiered live on YouTube at 7am ET and Taylor signed online an hour earlier to answer questions from fans while they waited for the video to go live.
Swift shared some behind the scenes photos from the video shoot on her official Instagram account, writing: “Just sitting here pondering how happy I am that ‘The Man’ music video is OUT.”
A few of the Easter eggs in the video include:
“The Man” stops to go the bathroom on a wall at “13th Street Station,” a nod to Swift’s favorite number. Around the station sign in graffiti is the names of Swift’s albums, from Fearless to Reputation. “Missing: If Found Return to Taylor Swift,” a sign reads. It is a nod to Swift’s battle for the rights to her own music. There’s also a sign on the wall that shows no scooters are allowed, a reference to her battle with Scooter Braun.
That same shot in the subway shows a poster for Swift’s Miss Americana Netflix documentary. According to the sign, Mr. Americana stars Tyler Swift.
Swift released this music video on a very significant anniversary. On February 27, 1922, the Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment, the voting rights for women.
A newspaper “The Man” reads in the video features multiple headlines, including one that calls out that double standard and asks, “What Man Won the Year in Celebrity Dating?”
While the “walk of shame” is more associated with women who have sex, man-Swift gets a walk of praise. After sleeping with a woman, he walks down a hallway with white arches and high-fives 19 hands jutting out from the walls.
The 19 hands could also be a reference to Kanye West, who notoriously interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and feuded with her multiple times since. Swift was 19 when that moment happened. The scene in the video also resembles a hallway inside West and wife Kim Kardashian West’s home.