Taylor Swift’s new anthem about understanding openly mocks Americans opposed to the gay lifestyle, while those in favor of it dance to the tune of her latest single.
On Monday, the singer’s “You Need To Calm Down” debuted on “Good Morning America.” The song, released during Pride Month, makes its strong political overtones unmistakable at the end of the video with a sentence that reads, “Please sign my petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on Change.org.”
The video features multiple celebrities who identify as LGBTQ, including Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Porter, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam Lambert, Todrick Hall, Hayley Kiyoko, Adam Rippon, Chester Lockhart, Dexter Mayfield, Hannah Hart, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France.
In its images, the video, garnering more than 2 million views in its first four hours, offers a stark difference between those who dance to Swift’s tune and those who do not. That difference offended some on Twitter.
The new Taylor Swift video…atrocious. I was unsure the past few days what side to take and now I’m def GTFO. The fact she really depicted anti-LGBT protestors as hicks? Girl, many are very privileged people in high places in society. This issue is too important for caricatures.
— O Helga Matt (@CMBYNmafia) June 17, 2019
— Jaclyn Drager (@EastonsMom28) June 17, 2019
Protesters opposed to the LGBTQ party surrounding a gay wedding are ragged, dirty, missing teeth and caricatures of Americans who oppose gay marriage as seen by Swift and the entertainment industry.
The song’s lyrics begin with a call for peace, claiming “stressin’ and obsessin’ ’bout somebody else is no fun.”
But once the song gets to its second verse, the overall plea for peace becomes one-sided, as protesters are told, “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD,” referring to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
GLAAD repaid Swift for the plug by giving her one in turn.
“Taylor Swift is one of the world’s biggest pop stars,” said Anthony Ramos, Director of Talent Engagement at GLAAD, according to the organization’s website. “The fact that she continues to use her platform and music to support the LGBTQ community and the Equality Act is a true sign of being an ally. ‘You Need to Calm Down’ is the perfect Pride anthem, and we’re thrilled to see Taylor standing with the LGBTQ community to promote inclusivity, equality, and acceptance this Pride month.”
The song draws a contrast between the happy people enlightened by support for gay marriage and the angry ones opposed, who are dressed in flannel shirts and dirty jeans and often missing teeth.
“Sunshine on the street at the parade / But you would rather be in the dark ages / Makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night,” the song says, referring to a protester whose sign misspells “moron” and another whose sign misspells “homosexuality.”
Anyone against Swift’s views then gets told to “control your urges to scream about all the people you hate / ‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay.”
Some fans thought the song is less about support for gay rights than tapping into a piece of the market.
@taylorswift13 new music video is misguided, failed attempt to support our community the result of which is elevating other disgusting stereotypes about class, etc and erases our struggle by equating it to her drama.
I’m finished. I’m through. This month isn’t yours.
— Roman Gierok (@romangierok) June 17, 2019
She jumped on the bandwagon of commercializing Pride only when it was safe to do so. Where was she five years ago? Ten? No Taylor Swift stan owns an album by an lgbt artist or even knows what GLAAD is, but now Tay Tay threw the first brick at Stonewall. No. Just no. Cash grab.
— Visigoth77 (@visigoth771) June 14, 2019
The video includes a scene of Swift and former nemesis Katy Perry dressed up as a hamburger and fries, enjoying each other’s company.
A happy meal 🍔 🍟 💗 pic.twitter.com/hPAbOZEsKF
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 17, 2019
This venture into politics follows Swift’s effort in November to get fans to oppose Senator Marsha Blackburn during her campaign for a U.S. Senate seat.
The song is from Swift’s upcoming album “Lover,” which is due for release August 23.
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