News and Commentary

Taylor Swift Rips White House At VMA Awards
Taylor Swift
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

On Monday night at the VMA awards, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, who has decided to go political after publicly stating she regrets her non-involvement in the 2016 election, slammed the Trump administration for supposedly ignoring the “Equality Act” petition, stating that it has “five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House. ”

Swift won the award for the best video of the year for her song “You Need to Calm Down” video. Accepting the award, which was voted on by fans, she said, “I first want to say thank you to the fans because in this video several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law regardless of who we love or how we identify.” She added, “I want to thank everyone that signed that petition because it now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” glancing purposefully at her watch, as The Hollywood Reporter noted.

The video of the song also won the “Video for Good” award for songs that have raised awareness.

Swift recently spoke to The Guardian about President Trump’s administration, saying, “We’re a democracy – at least, we’re supposed to be – where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate. I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy.”

The VMAs also featured a moment when actor John Travolta, presenting the Video of the Year award to Swift, mistakenly took drag queen Jade Jolie for Swift and started to present Jolie the trophy. The Daily Mail reported, “The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum looked obviously stunned momentarily and flashed a big ‘surprise’ smile and went in for a hug, which by that time Travolta had realized his mistake and gave a ‘whoops’ tap on the shoulder.”

The Daily Mail noted of Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” video, “In the video, seven drag queens do their best to impersonate famous artists like Cardi B and Beyonce while they wait for one of them to be crowned by RuPaul. Fittingly, Jolie played the drag queen version of Swift.”

As The Daily Wire reported in June, Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” video prompted backlash from critics on both sides of the political aisle. Cosmopolitan snapped, “About halfway through the video, we are introduced to the anti-LGBTQ+ crowd protesting Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita’s fake wedding. Of course, they’re portrayed with about as much nuance as the lyrics of the song.”

The Federalist commented:

To illustrate her LGBT pride anthem, Swift assembled the glitterati, casting them as the heroes of a utopian trailer park where her feud with Katy Perry ends, and ugly gay marriage protesters meet their match in a fabulous show of celebrity force. The set, of course, almost certainly cost more than what many people who make such places their home earn in a year. “Love letters only,” reads the side of one lily white mailbox in Swift World. (Where do the bills go?) Her creativity mysteriously lapsed when it came time to cast the protesters, who look like they should be playing banjos in “Deliverance”: toothless, badly dressed, holding misspelled signs.