Taylor Swift hit out at streaming giant Netflix for airing a ‘deeply sexist’ and ‘degrading’ joke about her dating history in new show Ginny and Georgia – just one year after teaming up with the popstar on her incredibly successful documentary Miss Americana.
The 31-year-old singer took Netflix to task on Monday morning in a furious tweet, accusing the streaming site of ‘degrading hard working women’, while describing herself as ‘heartbroken’ to see the joke airing on the same platform that helped to create her biographical documentary.
‘Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back,’ Taylor wrote. ‘How about we stop degrading hard working women by defining this horse s*** as FuNnY.’
Furious: Taylor Swift, 31, has publicly slammed Netflix for airing a ‘deeply sexist’ joke about her love life in new show Ginny and Georgia
Hitting back: The popstar slammed Netflix for airing the ‘degrading’ joke about her love life – despite partnering with her on her 2020 documentary Miss Americana
Below the belt: In the final episode of season one of Ginny and Georgia – a drama about a mother and daughter – the titular teenage character is seen making the snarky remark
Cutting: Ginny Miller tells her mother that she ‘goes through men faster than Taylor Swift’ while they are arguing about relationships
She went on to take a swipe at Netflix, pointing out: ‘Also, @netflix after Miss Americana this outfit doesn’t look cute on you,’ before adding a broken-heart emoji, and noting the irony that the controversy was kicking off on the first day of Women’s History Month.
Taylor’s rant at Netflix comes just hours after fans began voicing fury over a joke that features in the final episode of Ginny and Georgia – a dramatic comedy written by a woman, Sarah Lampert, which focuses on a mother and daughter and debuted on the streaming site on February 24.
In the episode, teenager Ginny Miller makes an off-the-cuff comment about Taylor’s dating life while arguing with her mother Georgia about her relationships.
After Georgia questions her daughter about whether she has had sex with someone, Ginny yells back: ‘What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.’
Fans of the singer were left in an uproar over the script line, with many taking to social media to lambaste writers for using Taylor’s romantic history – a topic for which the singer has faced much speculation and controversy – as the butt of yet another joke.
‘The fact that platforms like @netflix continue to use taylor swift as a punchline for misogynistic and sexist comments, which might I add, would never be made about a male, is the reason we continue to take 3 steps backward for every step forward in feminism. RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFT,’ one fan wrote.
Another added: ‘This joke was never funny and it never would be… yet Netflix still thinks otherwise. It’s disgusting, people evolved already from slut-shaming… when will you @netflix?’
Uproar: The joke sparked outrage among Taylor’s fans, with many people slamming Netflix for ‘slut-shaming’ the singer
‘Respect Taylor Swift’: Several social media users demanded that Netflix issue an apology
Looking back: Some fans pointed out that Taylor has spoken out about being ‘slut-shamed’ on multiple occasions
Second offense: This is the second time that a Netflix original show has mocked Taylor’s love life; Degrassi: Next Class also included a joke about her ‘making a career off of her exes’
It was also argued by a few people that Taylor is being subjected to severe gender bias. Multiple Twitter users insisted that the same kind of joke would not be made about a male popstar with a similar dating history, a subject that Taylor herself has touched upon in past interviews.
One user quoted a 2014 interview in which Taylor noted that male musicians like Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars do not face the same criticism that she does when they pen songs about their exes, saying: ‘No one says that about Ed Sheeran, no one says that about Bruno Mars, they’re all writing song about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life, and no one raises a red flag there.’
In 2019, Taylor said that people focused so much on her dating life and ‘slut-shamed’ her as a means of minimizing her success, telling Apple Music’s Beats 1: ‘When I was like 23 and people were just kind of reducing me to, kind of making slideshows of my dating life and putting people in there that I’d sat next to at a party once and deciding that my songwriting was like a trick rather than a skill and a craft.
‘It’s a way to take a woman who’s doing her job and succeeding at doing her job and making things. And in a way, it’s figuring out how to completely minimize that skill by taking something that everyone in their darkest, darkest moments loves to do, which is just to slut shame.
Many joined Taylor – who has been dating boyfriend Joe Alwyn since 2016 – in pointing out the irony that Netflix aired the joke, despite partnering with the singer on not one, but two exclusive shows: Miss Americana, and the broadcast of her Reputation stadium tour in 2018.
‘It’s not sitting right with me [that] Netflix has two Taylor Swift projects on their platform and they are okay with treating her like this!!! RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFT,’ one person wrote.
Settled: Taylor, who has been dating boyfriend Joe Alwyn (pictured together in 2019) since 2016, is known for writing songs about her exes and current partners
Miss Americana, in particular, featured several scenes in which Taylor addresses the double standard and misogyny that exists in the music industry, with the popstar saying at one point: ‘I’m [trying to] deprogram the misogyny in my own brain, toss it out, reject it and resist it.
‘There is no such thing as a slut, there is no such thing as a b***h.’
Some noted that this is not the first time a Netflix original show has poked fun at Taylor’s romantic life, with one Twitter user calling attention to a line from Degrassi: Next Class, in which a character accused the hitmaker of ‘making an entire career off of her exes’ – referring the fact that Taylor is known for writing songs about her past partners.
Several die-hard fans threatened to ‘boycott’ Netflix until the site issues an apology to Taylor, or removes the line from the show, while a few attacked Ginny and Georgia on ratings websites like Rotten Tomatoes, in an attempt to ruin its rating.
However, not everyone took Taylor’s side.
Several Twitter users suggested that the musician should expect comments like this given that she lays bare details about her dating history in her songs – thereby making money from publicizing her own romantic life.
‘How is this sexist? It just proves that you weren’t satisfied,’ one person wrote. ‘Georgia [the mother in the show] is a goddess. References to a real life person proves that you’re pretty great too. I find this opposition a bit too petty.’
Taylor has a long history of using her romantic relationships as inspiration, with her earliest albums featuring songs about her high school boyfriends and crushes.
As she rose in fame, her high-profile relationships became internet fodder. A number of her songs are believed to be about her famous exes, though she has never explicitly stated whom each song is about.
Taylor’s 2008 hit ‘Forever and Always’ was allegedly inspired by her breakup with Joe Jonas, who famously dumped her over the phone, while she is thought to have written ‘Back in December’ in 2010 about her ex Taylor Lautner.
When asked his thoughts on the song in 2016, Taylor replied: ‘That’s what she does.’
Taylor’s ex John Mayer also spoke publicly about her allegedly writing a song about him, telling Rolling Stone two years after the release of her 2010 song ‘Dear John’ that he was deeply ‘humiliated’ by it, calling it ‘cheap songwriting.’
Meanwhile, her 2012 album ‘Red’ is thought to have been inspired by her heartbreak over her brief relationship with her ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. Six years later, she revealed it was her only ‘true breakup album’, despite many of her songs being about lost love and past relationships.
The singer’s relationships with Harry Styles, Conor Kennedy, Calvin Harris, and Tom Hiddleston have also allegedly inspired her music, though most of her recent love songs are believed to be about Joe.
Not only is Joe her muse, but he is also her collaborator. On her latest albums, ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, Joe is credited as a co-writer on a total of five songs under the pseudonym William Bowery.
‘He’s always just playing instruments and he doesn’t do it in a strategic “I’m writing a song right now’ thing,”‘ Taylor told Apple Music of Joe.
‘He’s always done that. But do I think we would have taken the step of, “Hey, let’s see if there’s a song in here. Let’s write a song together?” If we hadn’t been in lockdown, I don’t think that would have happened, but I’m so glad that it did.’