Image courtesy of publicdesire.com
It seems like just yesterday, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Taylor Swift buried the hatchet between them at the 2015 Grammys, where they were photographed talking and laughing together amicably. However, in March of 2016, Kanye dropped his single “Famous”, which included lyrics about Swift that the “Bad Blood” singer publicly declared “misogynistic”, etc. Since then, a lot of complicated drama has erupted between the Swift and West camps. We’ve summarized the main events below.
Imma let you finish, but… (September 13th, 2009)
In a moment immortalized for generations to come thanks to the Internet, the infamous Swiftgate incident occurs at the MTV Video Music Awards – Kanye leaps up onstage in the midst of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video award to proclaim that Beyoncé deserved the award instead. Kanye said this of the singer’s achievement: “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you and imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.” Later, when Beyoncé won the Video of the Year award, she graciously called Swift back onstage to finish her curtailed acceptance speech. Swift’s innocence, reaction, and the Internet’s backlash solidified her as one of America’s sweethearts.
Kanye repeatedly apologized then rescinded his apology multiple times in a series of interviews, Tweets, and media features. The only public figure that can arguably compete with West’s unapologetic attitude is Donald Trump.
Pictures of Taylor, Kanye, and Kim Kardashian talking and laughing together backstage at the 2015 Grammys flood the internet and the Internet goes wild. People speculate that Kanye and Taylor will collaborate on a song soon and a few days later, the three are spotted out at dinner in New York City. The hatchet seems to have been officially buried, and Kanye’s famous interruption of Taylor’s speech seems like a distant memory.
Taylor posts a picture to Instagram of a cube of flowers that Kanye sent her (similar to the wall of flowers Kanye ordered for his wedding to Kim Kardashian) with the hashtag #BFF.
“Famous” Drops (February 11th, 2016)
Kanye debuts his “Famous” track, which includes the lyrics, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that bitch famous.”
Despite the apparent peace between the two superstars, conflict breaks out between the Kanye and Taylor camps. Kanye claims that he reached out to Taylor and sought her approval for the lyrics, while Taylor’s management vehemently denies this, stating that Kanye only asked Taylor to promote his song on her Twitter account and that the song had a very strong misogynistic message.
The 2016 Grammys (February 15th, 2016)
Once again, the drama continues during award show season. In her acceptance speech for the “Album of the Year” award, Swift seems to blast Kanye for his “Famous” lyrics. Amidst a slew of cheers, she states, “I want to say to all the young women out there—there are going to be people along the way who are going to try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.” She pauses noticeably before continuing her speech.
Kim Kardashian’s GQ Interview (June 16th, 2016)
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Kanye’s wife states that Taylor is simply playing the victim and that she did approve the “Famous” lyrics before the song was released. Kim also states that she has footage of the conversation between Kanye and Taylor, and Taylor’s camp issues the clever statement that “Taylor…recognizes the pressure Kim must be under and that she is only repeating what she has been told by Kanye West.” The internet remains skeptical of Kim’s claim and continues to side with America’s sweetheart.
The “Famous” Music Video Drops (June 25th, 2016)
Kanye’s NSFW music video for “Famous” drops and shocks the internet with its lifelike wax depictions of naked celebrities in bed with Kanye. Lena Dunham slams Kanye on Facebook for the “sickening” video’s implicit approbation of rape culture and objectification of women.
#KimExposesTaylorParty (July 16th, 2016)
Finally, on National Snake Day, Kim releases a cryptic Tweet, then the video of Kanye and Taylor’s conversation about “Famous” on Snapchat.
In the Snapchat recording, Kanye informs Taylor about the line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex,” which Taylor calls “a compliment” and not something “anybody would listen to…and be like ‘Oh, that’s a real diss.’”
The Internet seemed to side with the Wests and people took to Swift’s Instagram page to post the snake emoji along with slews of memes on Twitter.
However, Taylor’s celebrity friends, such as Selena Gomez, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ruby Rose, and Martha Hunt came to her defense and spoke out publicly on social media. Some, like Selena Gomez, who tweeted that “There are more important things to talk about…” were silenced by fans’ accusations that she never took a real stance on social issues, starting the #SelenaGomezIsOverParty hashtag on Twitter.
But Did Kim Really Expose Taylor? (July 18th, 2016)
On Twitter, Swift posts a screenshot of a note on her iPhone that reads as follows:
Swift has a point—in the video conversation between her and the “Famous” rapper, Kanye never mentioned the line “I made that bitch famous.” Maybe Swift also took issue with the fact that Kanye seems to have taken “credit for her…fame” as she said during her 2016 Grammys “Album of the Year” acceptance speech.
But others claim that if Taylor didn’t have a problem with the “Famous” line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex”, she probably wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) have an issue with Kanye calling her “that bitch”. Others say there is a possibility that the phrase is unusually triggering for her.
So did Kim really expose Taylor?
Legal Implications (read: Why Does This Matter?)
After Taylor publicly declares that the West family’s actions are “character assassination”, tabloids report that she is in the process of filing a lawsuit against them. Why? Because the state of California’s wiretapping law essentially states recording or eavesdropping on a conversation in which one or less parties are aware is a felony. However, in Tennessee and New York, a one-party law exists, meaning that only one party must be aware of the possibility that the conversation may be overheard or recorded in order for these acts to be legal. There was much debate about whether the Wests broke the law because Swift was believed to be in California at the time of the call.
Kanye could have risked jail time, except during the call, others in the room with Kanye spoke up. Lawyers stated that Swift could not sue the West family because Swift knew that there were others in the room and that the conversation was being overheard by others.
Still, if Taylor decides to press charges for anything (perhaps defamation if her lawyers can play their cards right), the law could be subject to change. With the amount of influence Swift has, she could potentially unify the law so that all states require both parties to not only be aware of potential recording or eavesdropping but also consent to recording – a major change.
What do you think? Do you support Taylor Swift or are you hosting a #KimExposedTaylorParty? Let us know in the comments below!