After a very strange turn of events, Taylor Swift now finds herself ensnared in a fresh new feud, and this one may be the wildest one yet.
Way back in September, Meghan Herning, a blogger for Pop Front, published a very detailed theorem that Taylor Swift is apparently a secret a white supremacist that channels Hitler in a music video.
In part, the blogger dissects Swift’s recent album as follows:
Taylor’s lyrics in “Look What You Made Me Do” seem to play to the same subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy. Many on the alt-right see the song as part of a “re-awakening,” in line with Trump’s rise. At one point in the accompanying music video, Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazis Germany. The similarities are uncanny and unsettling.
The blog didn’t go unnoticed. Responding to the article, Swift’s lawyer quickly sent a letter demanding the post be taken down and retracted. According to Variety, “the letter also privately declared the singer’s denouncement of the white supremacist movement, but demanded that Herning not publish it under copyright protection.”
Somehow, the ACLU got ahold of the letter and published it. ACLU attorney Matt Cagle defended the decision to publicize the letter, saying “Intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable. Not in her wildest dreams can Ms. Swift use copyright law to suppress this exposure of a threat to constitutionally protected speech.”
The ACLU further bolstered Meghan Herning and Pop Front by firing back a letter to Swift’s legal team. They even kind of troll Taylor, in part saying “Criticism is never pleasant, but a celebrity has to shake it off, even if the critique may damage her reputation.”
They also demanded a letter from Swift’s team by November 13 clarifying she proceed with litigation against Herning.
Now, I’m not a Taylor Swift fan. Sure, some of her songs are catchy but I’ve never believed her talent is proportional to her monstrous success. But although I don’t love her music, I can pretty much with 100% certainty assert that accusing Taylor Swift of being a racist with closeted neo-Nazi tendencies is insane.
And just because Pop Front is pretty much allowed to publish whatever they want under the First Amendment doesn’t mean they should. Throwing an inflammatory accusation out at a high profile celebrity just to grab a few headlines degrades the very narrative Herning is likely working to forward. You can’t cry wolf and call successful white celebrities racist. The more you go around accusing innocent people of racism, the less meaningful the accusation is when it’s true.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but they aren’t entitled to attention for it. Meghan Herning and Pop Front demonstrate the wrongs that can come from irresponsible use of public platforms.