Why A-list music video director Joseph Kahn refuses to work with Kanye West

Joseph Kahn has directed videos for pretty much every big name in music, even controversial figures like Eminem and Chris Brown.

But the director behind several of Taylor Swift’s videos – including “Bad Blood,” “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Blank Space” – told Business Insider that he draws the line at Kanye West.

Asked by Business Insider if he’d helm a video for the rapper, he answered, “Absolutely not.”

For Kahn, 46, the culture surrounding Kanye and his in-laws, the Kardashians, goes “hand-in-hand with Trump world.”

“There’s a lack of thought that’s masquerading as thought,” he explained. “It’s using the power of brand as the power of thought. And if anything, I’m so immersed in the power of brands, I try to put thought in the brands and I don’t see thought going on there. I just see crazy people flinging around and just trying to make money and call it thought.”

Kahn is the guy who directed the video for Sisqo’s decidedly unintellectual “Thong Song,” and he worked on Brown’s “Crawl” in 2009, the same year the singer pleaded guilty to felony assault for beating then-girlfriend Rihanna. But the Korean-American director insists he makes an effort to be conscientious about the work he does and the artist he works with. 

“I have to be very careful what to use my skill set for,” he told the website. “Everybody loves to make money, obviously, everybody loves to be comfortable, but you also have to be careful what you put out there. Look, I make silly music videos for a living, but I just want to make sure that I’m being responsible with the power that I’ve been given.”

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