Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero Music Video Removed Controversial Moment

Taylor Swift looking at herself in the mirror with another version of herself standing behind her.
(Image credit: Republic Records)

Taylor Swift’s first single for her 10th album Midnights dives into her nightmares and insecurities with vulnerable lyrics over a poppy beat. The song is called “Anti-Hero,” and in the music video written and directed by Swift, she highlights her insecurities throughout. One scene in the video has been called out, and after the backlash, it has been quietly removed.  

According to Deadline Apple Music removed the scene, and it has now been removed on YouTube as well, a scene that includes a shot of a scale that says “fat” on it has been removed. While the overall scene of her standing on the scale is still in the video, the part where it cuts to what the scale says has been removed. 

People on Twitter have been calling out the moment with posts like this one

While other people disagree, and think the moment should have stayed in the video, writing:

For some context, the lyrics that are playing during the scene are: 

I'll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror / It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero

The video shows her insecurities about not feeling like a person sometimes, people betraying and using her, feeling insecure about her body, and other negative thoughts she’s had about herself. As a singer whose life is constantly under a magnifying glass, from her NYU graduation speech to how much she uses her private jet, people are constantly analyzing, criticizing and focusing on what Swift is doing. Before the song was released, Swift made a video explaining the meaning behind it, and why she likes it so much, saying: 

I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before…This song really is a real guided tour through the things I tend to hate about myself. We all hate things about ourselves. It’s all of those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we’re gonna be this person. Yeah, I like ‘Anti-Hero’ a lot because I think it’s really honest.

Swift is always extremely detail-oriented with her music, music videos, and concerts. There is intention and meaning behind just about everything she releases. This is put on full display in both music videos she’s released, from the plethora of fun Easter eggs in “Bejeweled” to the vulnerable visualization of her insecurities in “Anti-Hero.” The videos get picked apart frame by frame on social media, and in “Anti-Hero’s” case this analysis over the little detail sparked a big debate. 

The pop star has also opened up about her insecurities in other songs, and in her documentary Miss Americana (which can be watched with a Netflix subscription.) Her music and vulnerability around topics like heartbreak, betrayal and insecurity are a big reason why fans love her so much, I mean there is a reason “All Too Well” is a record-breaking fan-favorite song. 

With all of Swift’s upcoming projects, it seems likely we’ll get more music videos similar to “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled” from Midnights.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.