Culture

Taylor Swift Threatens Lawsuit Against Critic, ACLU Issues Challenge

Taylor Swift Threatens Lawsuit Against Critic, ACLU Issues Challenge”

Her lack of denouncement hasn't kept her from threatening litigation, however.

On Sept. 5, Meghan Herning, an editor for the website PopFront, posted an article titled "Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation", which called for Swift to publicly denounce white supremacy after many white supremacists and members of the alt-right have co-opted her music as messages of support for their cause. The blog post dissected the lyrics of Swift's recent single "Look What You Made Me Do' and its music video, suggesting that they were "a defence of white privilege and white anger".

Herning added: "Her lyrics are like an affirmation for everything the alt-right has been feeling for years: oppressed, afraid to come out, and made to look like a fool". Both are saying that whites feel threatened and don't want to share their privilege.

Herning received a letter from Swift's lawyer on October 25 demanding that PopFront issue a retraction and take the story down by October 24, a day before the letter is dated.

The ACLU is now asking that Swift's lawyers write a new letter promising that they will not pursue a lawsuit against Herning. And if that is not true, she needs to state her beliefs out loud for the world-no matter what fan base she might lose, because in America 2017, silence in the face of injustice means support for the oppressor.

On Monday, the ACLU sent Swift a strongly worded letter telling her to back off a critic she reportedly tried to silence.

The ACLU of Northern California took up Herning's case, citing the lawyers' "meritless" threats as a "completely unsupported attempt to suppress constitutionally protected speech".

"Intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable", said ACLU attorney Matt Cagle.

"The press should not be bullied by high-paid lawyers or frightened into submission by legal jargon", said Herning.

Taylor Swift has a history of pushing back against her critics-see: the lyrics to "Shake It Off"-but her latest dispute has the singer in hot water with the ACLU".

Taylor Swift's appeal is immediate and broad-reaching, as her multi-platinum music career proves, but there's something about her that makes some people uneasy.



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