Yesterday, GCN reported on the new music video from Taylor Swift entitled ‘You Need to Calm Down,’ citing 11 of its best moments.
Ever since the music video has been released, there has been a charged reaction, some celebrating Swift and also some raising serious concerns with the intentions and contents of the music video.
To start, here is a selection of tweets praising the colourful new video and defending Taylor:
Pop star and trans icon Kim Petras took to Twitter to unequivocally show support to Taylor:
And yes Taylor supporting the lgbtq community and sharing that with her massive fan base is amazing and a blessing and I love her for it
— KIM PETRAS (@kimpetras) June 18, 2019
Change.org noted the success of the petition that Taylor Swift promoted at the end of her video:
Wow, #TaylorSwift fans are rallying behind the #EqualityAct! More than 300,000 signatures are on Taylor Swift's petition from her fans and members of @taylornation13 #Pride #PrideMonth #LGBTQ https://t.co/t6mSKRgHef
— Change.org (@Change) June 19, 2019
These Twitter users noted that Taylor seems to face backlash no matter what she does:
Gays: Taylor Swift needs to use her platform
Taylor: Speaks out on LGBTQ rights, donates $113k+ to pro-LGBT advocacy groups, raises 200K signatures for the Equality Act, releases a pro LGBTQ-song, centers diverse queer voices in a music video, etc etc etc
Gays: Stop that.
— Chris Swiftie™🏳️🌈🦋 (@HuffleBoy) June 16, 2019
Watching gay dudes shit all over Taylor Swift singing blatantly about supporting LGBT People when they consider every other straight woman who THEY LOVE a "gay icon" is really sending me.
— Layne 🌟 (@laynemorgan) June 15, 2019
It was also noted that the biggest concern of Taylor Swift might not be money:
This might come as a shock to some of you, but Taylor Swift doesn’t need to pander. She’d be just fine with her 320 million without our gay dollars.
Maybe, and I know this is hard to handle, maybe she’s just actually an ally.
— DJ Mitch Ferrino (@mitchferrino) June 17, 2019
This user pointed out that the star’s incomprehensible power is being used for good:
To the people who are saying @taylorswift13 is using the gay community to make money… YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN. She is the biggest pop star on the planet and is vocally taking a stand against so much hate in the world. She has more influence than almost anyone. Let her support us.
— Eli Lieb (@elilieb) June 15, 2019
Next, there were some serious concerns taken with the video.
The Atlantic, in an opinion piece, said, “The singer’s pro-gay single strangely compares her struggles with fame to more dangerous kinds of persecution.” It also noted that oppression is more than just “shade.”
"There are many ways to describe a parent who disowns a trans kid, or a lawmaker who tries to nullify same-sex marriages, or a church member who crashes a gay soldier’s funeral. Shady isn’t one." https://t.co/DpODi29TGT
— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) June 17, 2019
Vox criticised Taylor’s use of Pride to make a profit, which muddles its good intentions:
Ultimately, “You Need to Calm Down” is a lot like rainbow-branded Listerine for Pride Month or a feminist T-shirt: a well-intentioned item whose societal benefits are muddled by their status as for-profit consumer good https://t.co/XOSCyBhPRo
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 17, 2019
This user also noted commodification of queer culture, specifically drag culture:
So Taylor Swift put drag queens in her new music video and it got me wondering why fading pop stars commodify queer people just to retain relevence (i.e Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry)
— julián (@brutalistboy) June 17, 2019
People also criticised classism that painted poor people as bigots and erased queer poor people, while also ignoring that homophobia can take hold in high places in society:
Your classism was showing in this video. Please educate yourself on lower class rural America before YOU decide to throw SHADE and paint an entire demographic as toothless, uneducated and dirty.
Your portrayal of the protestors was extremely out of touch and distasteful.
— Adeline Schneid (@adelinewv3) June 18, 2019
The new Taylor Swift video…atrocious. I was unsure the past few days what side to take and now I’m def GTFO. The fact she really depicted anti-LGBT protestors as hicks? Girl, many are very privileged people in high places in society. This issue is too important for caricatures.
— O Helga Matt (@CMBYNmafia) June 17, 2019
It was also noted that some visuals used in the video were a rip-off of Beyonce’s 2011 ‘Party’ music video, which also featured trailer-park-in-summer vibes:
If Taylor Swift wants people to stop accusing her of ripping off Beyoncé, maybe she should quit ripping off Beyoncé. Her whole “above-ground pool party in a trailer park” vibe cribs a lot of shots from Bey’s “Party” video. This is just one example. pic.twitter.com/VsyUIOWbKe
— Erin Gaetz (@ErinGaetz) June 17, 2019
Finally, funny people of the world used comedy to lighten the situation.
This snarky tweet from the Onion takes a stab at the controversy:
— The Onion (@TheOnion) June 17, 2019
Matt Bellasai proved Taylor’s homophobia because she didn’t include him:
as a gay who was not invited to be in taylor swift’s music video, i have no choice but to declare homophobia
— Matt Bellassai (@MattBellassai) June 17, 2019
Eva Victor showed how Taylor might talk to her mom on the phone about the new music video:
me, taylor swift, explaining my new video to my mom pic.twitter.com/krZpoerKaq
— Eva Victor (@evaandheriud) June 18, 2019
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