NYT Piece Speculating on Taylor Swift's Sexuality Sparks Ire

Fans, friends call it inappropriate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2024 2:00 AM CST
Updated Jan 13, 2024 4:20 PM CST
Taylor Swift Fans, Friends Unhappy With NYT Article
Taylor Swift arrives at the 81st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

There's quite a bit of fallout after the New York Times, in an uncharacteristic move, published an opinion piece openly speculating on a person's sexuality. The move would have been "highly unusual for a reputable news organization," as CNN puts it, no matter who the column was about, but in this case, it happened to also be about quite possibly the biggest star in the world at the moment: Taylor Swift. The guest essay by Anna Marks went through a list of Swift references, some open and some simply guessed at by fans, to LGBTQ+ topics. Marks' hypothesis: that Swift may be signaling she herself identifies with that community (though she has publicly denied being a part of it and says she is just an ally).

As Fox News puts it, Swift fans are going "scorched earth" on the Times, and the Telegraph says the column has been called "grossly inappropriate." Associates of Swift who spoke to CNN anonymously also had harsh words: "This article wouldn't have been allowed to be written about Shawn Mendes or any male artist whose sexuality has been questioned by fans," says one. At Vulture, while acknowledging the "inappropriate speculation" in the Times piece, Tom Smyth begs to differ with that particular criticism: "People speculate about male celebrities' sexuality all the time. In fact, the author of this opinion piece on Swift wrote a similar piece on Harry Styles, speculating about his sexuality in 2022. That doesn't make it right, but it debunks the notion that this is an ethical lapse that Swift is uniquely a victim of." (More Taylor Swift stories.)

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