Everyone loves a good celebrity feud – especially those magnified by social media. One of our personal favorites is the long-standing vendetta between Taylor Swift and Kanye West, which recently came into the spotlight when an outraged Taylor slammed Kanye for her less-than-honorable mention in his song, “Famous.”
Through Kanye and Taylor’s tumultuous relationship, the duo’s ups and downs have been diligently documented and publicized by social media, and scrutinized by the public eye. If you haven’t already been bombarded with the celebs’ drama while scrolling through your news feed, here’s a brief history of Taylor and Kanye’s ongoing clash.
September 13, 2009
Kanye interrupts Taylor during her acceptance speech for “Best Female Video” at the 2009 Video Music Awards, proclaiming his support for Beyoncé’s video, “Single Ladies,” – leaving viewers stunned, Taylor upset, and Beyoncé embarrassed.
Understandably, Kanye’s stunt did not go over well with fans. Angry viewers and celebs took to social media. Some posted tweets supporting Taylor…
While others shamed and mocked Kanye…
September 14, 2009
Kanye appeared on Jay Leno the very next day, expressing his remorse for his actions: “… I was in the wrong. Dealing with the fact that I hurt someone or took anything away, you know, from a talented artist – or from anyone – because I only wanted to help people. My entire life, I’ve only wanted to do and give something that I felt was right and I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong.“
September 10, 2010
Even a year after the event, Kanye continued to express his remorse and seek redemption through a bizarre 3-hour twitter rant, in which is said he was “sorry” and even wrote Taylor a song as a peace offering.
February - August 2015
Many years later, Taylor and Kanye’s relationship appeared to be on the mend. The duo was photographed at the Grammy Awards, and both appear to have put the past events behind them.
Taylor even presented Kanye with the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Awards later that year.
Taylor posted a picture on Instagram of flowers she received from Kanye, including #KanTay2020 and #BFFs in the caption. This post seemingly validated their friendship and was even among the top-ten liked photos on Instagram in 2015.
Kanye released lyrics to “Famous.” In the song, Kanye raps, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous / God damn / I made that bitch famous.” Taylor claimed she was unaware of the song’s “misogynistic message” and even sniped back at Kanye during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammy’s. Following the premiere of “Famous,” Taylor’s spokesperson released this message:
But after slamming Kanye for her less-than-honorable mention, Taylor was caught in a lie when after an airing of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which teased the feud throughout the show, Kim Kardashian posted multiple videos on her Snapchat story that show a call between Taylor and Kanye, proving Taylor knew about the “Famous” lyrics (and proving that Kardashian is a multi-media genius).
Unaware that the conversation was filmed, Taylor was understandably shaken. In a meager attempt at rebuttal, she posted a lengthy explanation to her Instagram account.
Regardless of what actually happened, these recent events are a blow to Taylor Swift’s squeaky-clean image. The scandal has left many people wondering, “Is Taylor Swift really the sweet, innocent celebrity the world thinks she is?” Apparently, some don’t think so and have used social media to express their disapproval of Taylor, and loyalty to Kim and Kanye.
Even using Pokémon Go’s recent popularity as a vehicle to ridicule Taylor…
Celebrities took to Twitter after the reveal, siding with either Swift or Kimye. This sparked other feuds, with Khloe Kardashian pitted against Chloe Grace Moretz (which caused Ruby Rose to chime in), and Selena Gomez vs. the general public. The initial feud, in addition to all the side ones that stemmed from it, dominated our trending topics on Facebook.
Through the examination of Taylor and Kanye’s very public ongoing feud, we can learn from the unique role of social media in celebrity gossip. While the immediacy of social media platforms allows fans to stay informed about the most recent celebrity news, social media is also highly interactive. Users are encouraged to give their own opinion on the happenings of celebrities like Kanye and Taylor, especially on platforms like Twitter and Facebook that are driven by conversation. Much of the backlash surrounding the Taylor/Kim scandal comes from user-generated content, demonstrating social media’s ability to drive conversation and form public opinion. Hashtags such as #Kimexposedtaylorparty, #TeamTaylor, and #TeamKanye have been shared by users, which allow people to show solidarity for their favorite artist, or assist in watching the drama unfold.
Although these recent events reflect poorly on Taylor, we believe Taylor’s embarrassment will be relatively short-lived, and this recent scandal will just be another chapter in her and Kanye’s rocky frenemy-ship.