Taylor Swift and the whitewashing of NYC
NYC & Company, the marketing arm of the City of New York, wanted to choose an ambassador who would truly extend a welcome to the city for people around the globe.
So they chose Taylor Swift.
New York natives Kara Mullins and Osvaldo Jimenez found the choice a little odd. While they had no problem with Swift or her music, they did take issue with the city using a wealthy, white figure to speak out to the world on behalf of New Yorkers. So the couple partnered with Antonio Garcia, a Graffiti writer known as Chico, to paint a memorial on the gate of their Lower East Side clothing store.
In their Instagram description, Mullins and Jimenez said that the choice to have Swift represent New York was part of the "whitewashing" of a city that often ignores the primarily Black, Latino and working class communities displaced by gentrification.
In NYC & Company's announcement, the company said that they would use Taylor's song, "Welcome to New York," to, "tell the story about New York City's five boroughs and to covey the City's unparalleled electricity."