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Scrutiny and backlash won’t stop ‘Tortured Poet’ Taylor Swift

The Tortured Poets Department album cover (Big Machine Records)
The Tortured Poets Department album cover (Big Machine Records)

Taylor Swift sent the crowd and internet into shock as she stood on the 2024 Grammys stage and accepted the award for Best Pop Vocal Album.

“My brand new album comes out April 19,” Swift said, “It’s called The Tortured Poets Department.”

This is the second time that Swift has graced the red carpet dressed in a look that had fans convinced she would announce the re-record of her popular album Reputation, only to pivot and announce a brand new album instead. The last time was at the 2023 Video Music Awards [VMAs], when she announced her 2022 album, Midnights

Swift’s fans, more affectionately known as Swifties, are over the moon about this new album release, which has been categorized as synth-pop. Alongside her continued success in the past year, some have taken up arms against Swift in the past couple of months regarding things that are entirely not her fault.

This only seemed to worsen after the night of the Grammys.

The main issue that people have with Swift is her newly established presence at Kansas City Chiefs football games. Ever since the news of her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce went public, many NFL fans have been up in arms about Swift being present at the games.

Swift at a Chiefs game (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty)

They argue that her attendance has been “ruining Kelce’s performance,” although that can’t be true considering they just secured a spot in the Superbowl.

Fans also seem to hate the way the camera often pans to Swift after Kelce scores a touchdown. How dare she make the cameras cut to her supporting her boyfriend in his sport. Oh wait, I forgot that she doesn’t control the cameras.

I get it, some football fans turn on the TV and don’t want to be bombarded with cuts to the famous singer, but I think many people are forgetting that Swift has no control over what the cameras do and don’t show.

The accusations and hate against Swift  have gone so far that there is a video from after the most recent playoff game where some Ravens fans lined up and waited for Swift to pass by after the game so they could yell, “Hey Taylor, you’re ruining football.”

Swift responded by saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

The contrast between this reaction and the response to Kelce attending the Eras Tour is what infuriates Swifties the most.

When Kelce appeared in the VIP tent at the Eras Tour, many people oohed and ahhed over the way he was supporting his girlfriend at her show. However, when Taylor did the same thing by showing up to Chiefs games, she received less than a warm welcome.

At the Grammys, this year’s host Trevor Noah poked fun at the complaints of the football fans in a far nicer way than Jo Koy had at the Golden Globes. Jo Koy had struck a chord with both the singer and her fans when in his opening monologue he said,  “The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? On the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift… there’s just more to go to here.”

This comment in addition to the distasteful one Jo Koy made about the blockbuster film Barbie went viral, and not in a good way.

At the Grammys, Noah defended Swift in his opening monologue.

“I think it’s so unfair how NFL fans have been complaining about the cameras cutting to Taylor Swift,” Noah said. “Like, she’s controlling the cameras at the game. Just let her live. Let her live.”

Noah continued by saying that he would take revenge for Swift. 

“Tonight, on Taylor’s behalf, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna give her a break,” Noah said. “Every time they mention Taylor Swift, I’m going to get revenge. Every time someone says Taylor Swift, I’m going to cut the cameras to someone who played football. Cut, bam!”

The cameras then cut to Terry Crews, who played as a linebacker on the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles. 

“You like that, Terry Crews?” Noah said. “You better fix your face, Terry.”

Crews was seen on camera laughing at the joke.

The internet loved this joke much more than Koy’s because it both pointed out the fact that Swift has no control of the cameras, while also making a joke that highlighted the strengths of the person at its center, instead of putting them down.

Though the host of the awards was on her side, Swift was far from safe from the haters.

Swift at the 2024 Grammys (Getty images)

Celine Dion presented Swift with the award for Album of the Year for Midnights, and some who watched the Grammys were infuriated with the way that Swift had seemingly brushed off the famous icon on stage. Although a photo of Swift and Dion hugging backstage has since been released, people are saying that Swift was disrespectful. 

Swift was clearly excited about receiving the award for Album of the Year, and the picture of her and Dion backstage should act as water on the flame of backlash that Swift received after the Grammys.

Even after the events at football games and awards shows over the past few months, Swifties stand by Taylor Swift as she announces her newest album. The media will always find ways to put celebrities down for reasons that aren’t their fault, and Swift proves to be an example of how to take it with grace and continue to create despite it all.

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About the Contributor
Michaela Horan
Michaela Horan, Copy Chief
This is Senior Michaela Horan's second year on staff at the Lancer Spirit, and this year she is the position of copy chief. She's the author of the Rolling Hills series, the first of which was published in 2021. She enjoys writing music and doing theater and loves being on staff.

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