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Why I Won’t Be Listening to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) | Opinion

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

By Xandra Button


Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Taylor Swift has finally announced the release date of her next album. Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is set to come out this July, and with her current popularity, there is no doubt it will be a successful release. In theory, I should be excitedly adding the release date to my calendar. Swift was my most listened-to artist last year, I own her most recent album on vinyl, and I was planning on buying tickets to the UK leg of her tour. Yet, I am not at all looking forward to the album.


My problem is that Swift has recently begun openly supporting (and possibly dating) the lead singer of The 1975, Matty Healy. Unlike many Swifties, I don’t care whether they’re dating, friends, or simply recording music together.

What I care about are Healy’s recent displays of racism and antisemitism, news of which is currently storming the internet.

Recently, news outlets have reported a number of stories about Healy, often linking a resurfaced clip of him mocking Japanese accents, a video in which he claimed to enjoy videos of Black women being ‘brutalized’, and a picture of him mimicking the Nazi salute on stage.


Swift’s involvement with Healy, romantic or not, has sparked a debate about when to cancel celebrities and whether Swift should be held accountable for the actions of people she associates with. She has not only allowed Healy to take the stage at some of her stadium shows but has also been seen with him outside of her performances. Swift fans have been quick to defend the musician, claiming that it Swift’s friends and dating life are not our business. However, in my opinion, the people we closely associate with are a reflection of our own ideals and standards. Clearly, Swift has no problem profiting off members of marginalized communities who listen to her music and has even claimed that she is a feminist, yet she refuses to cut ties with someone who has been openly racist.


It is no secret that I love Taylor Swift’s music. However, I would rather never listen to her songs again than disregard the feelings of those affected by Healy’s comments and, by extension, Swift’s involvement with him. I will no longer be listening. When Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) drops in July, I hope that other Swifties will follow.


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