Joseph Kahn has trained the camera on Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons and tons of other pop stars as one of the most sought-after music video directors in the game, but Kanye West isn’t someone who’ll be meeting Kahn on set anytime soon.
In an interview with Business Insider about Bodied, his film out Friday (Nov. 2), Kahn made it clear that West’s alignment with and support of Donald Trump — and, specifically, his tendency to share some of Trump’s traits — makes him an undesirable client.
“I find the Kanye/Kardashian culture so — to me it’s hand in hand with the Trump world,” he said. “There’s a lack of thought that’s masquerading as thought. 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.”
“I choose who I want to work with,” Kahn continued when asked about what he looks for in a collaborator. “I have to be very careful what to use my skill set for. 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.”
Kahn is best known for his work with Swift, and directed the intense, elaborate visuals for “Bad Blood,” “Delicate,” “End Game,” and most famously “Look What You Made Me Do,” which premiered during the broadcast of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.