Todrick Hall has a lot of credits: singer, dancer, former American Idol contestant, choreographer, YouTuber, Broadway star and now co-executive producer of a hugely popular music video.
Taylor Swift released her music video for "You Need To Calm Down" last week, and in the opening titles, Hall is listed in the credits. In a behind-the-scenes video, Swift can be seen asking Hall to be her co-producer in a handwritten note. Hall checked the box "Yes" with a stick of lipstick.
Hall and Swift's friendship goes back to when Hall posted his "4 Taylor" video in 2015. Swift saw the video and invited Hall backstage to meet her. They became fast friends, and Hall was even featured as a dancer in Swift's 2017 "Look What You Made Me Do" music video.
"You Need To Calm Down" is a song to the haters, and in the second verse, it's a song to homophobic people. Swift sings, "Shade never made anyone less gay." The video is full of pride imagery and features several drag queens and famous gay people like RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon, Adam Lambert and more. Hall told Access he and Swift called and texted a lot of the people to ask if they would appear in the video.
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"It felt like we were just two friends brainstorming who were, like, gonna put on a skit with or something, which happens to me often," Hall joked.
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At the end of the video, there is a call to action to sign Swift's petition for the Equality Act, "which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations." While Swift has been apolitical in the past, Hall told Access that the Swift he came to know and love has always stood up for gay people, and that she's now excited to be openly political.
"I have never seen her so excited as she is when she's posting things and seeing her fans go and vote and retweet and sign these petitions," Hall told Access. "She's just so excited. Equally as excited to do these political ventures as she is to create music, and I'm just really excited to be along for the ride and be next to her watching her evolve as a human, because I do think there was a point years ago where maybe this would have been scary for her.
"But this whole week, she's just been like, 'I cannot wait. I literally cannot sleep.' She's been texting me, 'I can't sleep, I'm so excited to put this video out,' and we're both really, really proud of it and I'm so happy she trusted me to be a part of it."