Todrick Hall's appearance in Taylor Swift's insanely popular music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" caused him some backlash, with many calling the YouTube/Broadway star a "sellout" to the black community for doing it in the first place.
Hall addressed his critics head on in a new interview with Yahoo!, where he defended his role in the clip and friendship with Swift herself.
"One of the main things that people said was, 'He wanted to make his money. Well, good for him, he got paid. And I guess payment is enough for you to sell out your family, your people, your community,'" Hall explained. "But this had nothing to do with money. I didn't do this Taylor Swift video for money. I did it because she's my friend, and she was very excited about it. And she wanted people to be there who she could trust, because it was a very big undertaking. I was proud to be there, but money was not a factor for me. I don't do things for money."
Swift and Hall's friendship goes back a few years now, and he said he gets all kinds of crap for being buddies with a white person in general.
"I have gotten comments from people who are upset and have literally said the fact that I am friends with a white person is a problem, because white people don't possess the ability to love or ever truly care about black people. And I find that very disheartening," he continued. "I've grown up in a neighborhood where I went to church with and lived with and went to school with beautiful black people; when I look at them, I see myself. But then I was also in a peculiar situation, because I danced in a dance group where I was the only black person in the dance studio. In some cases, I was the only black cheerleader in my school. I did theater where I was the only black person, the 'token black person.' And working at Disney, oftentimes I was the only black person in the show at Disney World or Disneyland on any given day. And I also did tours where I was the only black singer; I did a cruise ship where I was the only black person in the cast. So I've been used to being in situations where I've had to find friendships and find love and find similarities. My whole brand, everything that I stand for and everything I've always stood for, is equality and love. So it's just really difficult for me to understand why it is an issue for people, a legitimate issue, that I have white friends, and that Taylor Swift happens to be one of my many white friends."
He also addresses accusations of cultural appropriation that hit Twitter after a sneak peek at the video was released ahead of the full drop. Many compared his scene in-particular to Beyonce's "Formation," something that left him "very confused."
"I knew that there was nothing 'Formation'-esque or Lemonade-esque about the video. Artistically, I didn't feel that was the case," he said. "I'm a humongous Beyoncé fan. I've worked with Beyoncé. I've choreographed for Beyoncé. And I would never intentionally be a part of art that I felt was ripping off my favorite artist of all time. But I felt like these were two completely different lanes."
See some of the backlash Hall received and the full music video below.
@todrick congrats on losing your black card when you joined taylor swift's white girl death eater cult— sassy bitch (@SASSYAF28) August 26, 2017
@todrick I'm disgusted as a fan that you'd support a human being like Taylor Swift. You losing your black supporters with this one.— ♥Angel Monroe♥ (@AngelMonroe_) August 25, 2017
todrick hall aka taylor swift's faux token black friend is in her new music video pic.twitter.com/yK87zAEgQR— sassy bitch (@SASSYAF28) August 25, 2017
1. Taylor is fucking ugly— NIYAH ♡ (@NiyahMusic) August 25, 2017
2. Why is todrick hall in this? Baby I'm ashamed of you
3. Why are the black people and the whites separated?! https://t.co/zUhclPxOSO
@todrick did you/ the black people feel like a prop in Taylor's new video?— Gaby (@LadySourwolf) August 31, 2017
Why would todrick hall agree to be in a Taylor Swift music video? How embarrassing.— Zachary (@zickiry) August 26, 2017
I'm annoyed. Why is Todrick in Taylor Swifts video?— Bathabile🌱 (@Batha__) August 26, 2017
Why did Todrick choose to be in Taylor Swifts new video? I used to love you man when you made good choices 💔💔— Tio-Rose Yikona (@RoseYikona) August 25, 2017