Taylor Swift's Lawyer Under Fire For Blog Threat
A lawyer for Taylor Swift is under fire for threatening a blog that accused her of promoting “white privilege and white anger.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Monday it is backing Oakland-based PopFront after the website received a letter from the singer's lawyer William J. Briggs II.
The post claimed the “Look What You Made Me Do” lyrics “seem to play to the same subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy.”
PopFront executive editor Meghan Herning wrote that “many on the alt-right see the song as part of a ‘re-awakening’, in line with Trump’s rise. At one point in the accompanying music video, Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazis Germany. The similarities are uncanny and unsettling.”
Herning described the song’s lyrics as “an affirmation for everything the alt-right has been feeling for years: oppressed, afraid to come out, and made to look like a fool. And now that they feel empowered, it befits the movement to have a white, blonde, conservative pop star that has no doubt been ‘bullied’ by people of colour in the media, singing their feelings out loud.”
She conceded that “there is no way to know for sure if Taylor is a Trump supporter or identifies with the white nationalism.”
The letter to PopFront from Los Angeles law firm Venable called the blog post “provably false and defamatory.”
Briggs wrote: “The story is replete with demonstrable and offensive falsehoods which bear no relation to reality or the truth about Ms Swift. It appears to be a malicious attack against Ms Swift that goes to great lengths to portray Ms Swift as some sort of white supremacist figurehead, which is a baseless fiction masquerading as fact and completely misrepresents Ms Swift.
"The notion that Ms. Swift supports white supremacy is utterly fabricated and a reprehensible falsehood, and it attempts to portray Ms. Swift in a false light."
PopFront, based in Oakland, California, describes itself as "an online magazine about politics, culture and activism."
In its letter to Swift’s lawyer, the ACLU's senior staff attorney Michael Risher said the post “is a mix of core political speech and critical commentary; it discusses current politics in this country, the recent rise of white supremacy, and the fact that some white supremacists have apparently embraced Ms Swift, along with a critical interpretation of some of Ms Swift’s music, lyrics, and videos.”
The ACLU dismissed Briggs' warning that his letter could not be published as "utter nonsense." Risher added: "It is not without irony that at one point you ask that your 'letter stand as yet another unequivocal denouncement by Ms. Swift of white supremacy and the altright,' but then purport to forbid anybody from making the letter public."
There has been no comment from reps for Swift.