As we reported on Friday night, Taylor Swift was set to speak candidly about Donald Trump, politics, and much more in a very wide-ranging upcoming interview with The Guardian.
Well, we got the full look at the interview on Saturday morning, and all we can say is ‘wow.’ Swift, notoriously infamous for having previously avoided political controversies earlier in her career, is seriously starting to open up about it more and more. And she’s talking about Lover, too!!!!
Related: Taylor Swift’s Dad… Exposed!!!
The You Need To Calm Down singer covers a LOT of ground in the far-ranging, wide-reaching long-form interview; you can catch all the highlights (below)!!!
On not coming forward during the 2016 presidential election:
“The news that she was in a relationship with actor Tom Hiddleston, which leaked soon after, was widely dismissed as a diversionary tactic. Meanwhile, Swift went to court to prosecute a sexual assault claim, and faced a furious backlash when she failed to endorse a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, allowing the alt-right to adopt her as their ‘Aryan princess.’
Her critics assumed she cared only about the bottom line. The reality, Swift says, is that she was totally broken. ‘Every domino fell,’ she says bitterly. ‘It became really terrifying for anyone to even know where I was. And I felt completely incapable of doing or saying anything publicly, at all. Even about my music. I always said I wouldn’t talk about what was happening personally, because that was a personal time.’ She won’t get into specifics. ‘I just need some things that are mine,’ she despairs. ‘Just some things.’”
On Joe Alwyn, and not discussing her personal relationships:
“While she has always written about relationships, they were either teenage fantasy or a postmortem on a high-profile breakup, with exes such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles. But she and Alwyn have seldom been pictured together, and their relationship is the only other thing she won’t talk about. ‘I’ve learned that if I do, people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion,’ she says, laughing after I attempt a stealthy angle. ‘If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it – but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable.’”
On burning bridges in the past, including Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and more high-profile controversies:
“She describes the way she burned bridges in 2016 as a kind of obliviousness. ‘I didn’t realise it was like a classic overthrow of someone in power – where you didn’t realise the whispers behind your back, you didn’t realise the chain reaction of events that was going to make everything fall apart at the exact, perfect time for it to fall apart.’
Here’s that chain reaction in full. With her 2014 album 1989 (the year she was born), Swift transcended country stardom, becoming as ubiquitous as Beyoncé. For the first time she vocally embraced feminism, something she had rejected in her teens; but, after a while, it seemed to amount to not much more than a lot of pictures of her hanging out with her ‘squad,’ a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham. The squad very much did not include her former friend Katy Perry, whom Swift targeted in her song Bad Blood, as part of what seemed like a painfully overblown dispute about some backing dancers. Then, when Nicki Minaj tweeted that MTV’s 2015 Video Music awards had rewarded white women at the expense of women of colour, multiple-nominee Swift took it personally, responding: ‘Maybe one of the men took your slot.’ For someone prone to talking about the haters, she quickly became her own worst enemy.”
On learning about her white privilege:
“After the incident with Minaj, her critics started pointing out a narrative of ‘white victimhood’ in Swift’s career. Speaking slowly and carefully, she says she came to understand ‘a lot about how my privilege allowed me to not have to learn about white privilege. I didn’t know about it as a kid, and that is privilege itself, you know? And that’s something that I’m still trying to educate myself on every day. How can I see where people are coming from, and understand the pain that comes with the history of our world?’”
On her high-profile sexual assault trial, in which she won one (symbolic) dollar:
“In summer 2016 she was in legal depositions, practising her testimony. ‘You’re supposed to be really polite to everyone,’ she says. But by the time she got to court in August 2017, ‘something snapped, I think.’ She laughs. Her testimony was sharp and uncompromising. She refused to allow Mueller’s lawyers to blame her or her security guards; when asked if she could see the incident, Swift said no, because ‘my ass is in the back of my body.’ It was a brilliant, rude defence.
‘You’re supposed to behave yourself in court and say ‘rear end’,’ she says with mock politesse. ‘The other lawyer was saying, ‘When did he touch your backside?’ And I was like, ‘ASS! Call it what it is!’’ She claps between each word. But despite the acclaim for her testimony and eventual victory (she asked for one symbolic dollar), she still felt belittled. It was two months prior to the beginning of the #MeToo movement. ‘Even this case was literally twisted so hard that people were calling it the ‘butt-grab case’. They were saying I sued him because there’s this narrative that I want to sue everyone. That was one of the reasons why the summer was the apocalypse.’
She never wanted the assault to be made public. Have there been other instances she has dealt with privately? ‘Actually, no,’ she says soberly. ‘I’m really lucky that it hadn’t happened to me before. But that was one of the reasons it was so traumatising. I just didn’t know that could happen. It was really brazen, in front of seven people.’ She has since had security cameras installed at every meet-and-greet she does, deliberately pointed at her lower half. ‘If something happens again, we can prove it with video footage from every angle,’ she says.”
And finally, more on her arrival onto the political scene:
“It was the assault trial, and watching the rights of LGBTQ friends be eroded, that finally politicised her, Swift says. ‘The things that happen to you in your life are what develop your political opinions. I was living in this Obama eight-year paradise of, you go, you cast your vote, the person you vote for wins, everyone’s happy!’ she says. ‘This whole thing, the last three, four years, it completely blindsided a lot of us, me included.’
She recently said she was ‘dismayed’ when a friend pointed out that her position on gay rights wasn’t obvious (what if she had a gay son, he asked), hence this summer’s course correction with the single You Need To Calm Down (“You’re comin’ at my friends like a missile/Why are you mad?/When you could be GLAAD?”). Didn’t she feel equally dismayed that her politics weren’t clear? ‘I did,’ she insists, ‘and I hate to admit this, but I felt that I wasn’t educated enough on it. Because I hadn’t actively tried to learn about politics in a way that I felt was necessary for me, making statements that go out to hundreds of millions of people.’
She explains her inner conflict. ‘I come from country music. The number one thing they absolutely drill into you as a country artist, and you can ask any other country artist this, is ‘Don’t be like the Dixie Chicks!’’ In 2003, the Texan country trio denounced the Iraq war, saying they were “ashamed” to share a home state with George W Bush. There was a boycott, and an event where a bulldozer crushed their CDs. ‘I watched country music snuff that candle out. The most amazing group we had, just because they talked about politics. And they were getting death threats. They were made such an example that basically every country artist that came after that, every label tells you, ‘Just do not get involved, no matter what.’”
What do y’all think about all this, Perezcious readers?! Sound OFF about it and everything else Taylor-related in the comments (below)…
P.S. If you want to read the entire interview in The Guardian, click HERE.
[Image via WENN]