Taylor Swift’s Collaboration With Ice Spice Has Been Called “Insidiously Calculated” And A “Blatant Distraction” After Matty Healy Made Racist Comments About The Rapper
Taylor Swift is facing growing backlash from her fans amid her controversial rumored relationship with the 1975 lead singer Matty Healy.
The star was linked to the British singer earlier this month, just weeks after it was revealed that she’d ended her six-year romance with Joe Alwyn.
At the time, a source told the Sun that both Taylor and Matty are “massively proud” of their relationship and that she “wants to ‘own’ this romance and not hide it away.”
While neither of them has commented on reports that they “are madly in love,” Matty has been spotted with Taylor’s inner circle at her Eras Tour — including her family and closest friends.
He has also been performing onstage alongside Taylor’s opening act since the news broke, and they were spotted kissing after being pictured holding hands at a private members club.
In addition, Matty has been filmed entering Taylor’s New York apartment, and the two were cozy in front of waiting fans and the paparazzi when they left a party at a music studio together last week.
But even Taylor’s most devoted fans have struggled to accept her apparent new relationship because of Matty’s long history of problematic behavior. This includes him being filmed seemingly doing a Nazi salute during a concert in January of this year.
He has also been repeatedly accused of anti-Muslim and antisemitic comments throughout his career and has been branded misogynistic. In 2016, he even sparked backlash when he said it would be “emasculating” to date Taylor.
Just three months ago, Matty courted more controversy when he appeared on The Adam Friedland Show and casually admitted to masturbating to women being, in his words, "brutalized" on Ghetto Gaggers.
Ghetto Gaggers is an extreme pornography website that focuses on the humiliation and degradation of women of color. The site’s description reads, “Extreme hardcore face fucking, ebony hoodrats, ghetto double penetration, yellow discipline and interracial throat banging of the Ghetto Gaggers.”
Someone else described the content as “the most extreme niche porn you probably can find that [is] just full of hatred for women, specifically about white men getting off on racially and sexually degrading black women.”
The topic came up after the podcast’s host, Adam Friedland, recalled Matty having Ghetto Gaggers “blaring” just seconds after he and a group of friends left a party at his house.
“I was already flustered; I was dressed as ‘guy who is jacking off,’ so I had, like, an untucked shirt, and I think it literally was Ghetto Gaggers on the TV — somebody just getting, like, brutalized,” Matty confirmed before going on to imitate the gagging noises in the videos.
Elsewhere in the same podcast, which was deemed so offensive that it ended up being removed from both Spotify and Apple Music, Matty, Adam, and Nick Mullen made incredibly racist comments about the musician Ice Spice.
The trio laughed gleefully together as they made a series of racially motivated jibes and mocked a variety of accents, including Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian. In the conversation, Ice Spice was referred to as “one of the Inuit Spice Girls,” a “chubby Chinese lady,” and “a fucking Eskimo.”
In February of this year, Matty appeared on a podcast where he, his friend & the host laughed as they made racist comments, this included calling @icespicee_ a “chubby Chinese lady”, and mocking API accents. The episode was so offensive + racist that Apple and Spotify removed it. pic.twitter.com/Lbok9nd3nO
— victor🦄 (@beyisover) May 6, 2023
@beyisover / Via Twitter: @beyisover
The podcast — which remains live on YouTube — was released Feb. 10 and removed from streaming sites April 6. On April 21, Matty acknowledged the backlash to his comments about Ice Spice and issued a “kind of” apology during a concert in New Zealand.
“I just feel a bit bad, and I’m kind of a bit sorry if I’ve offended you,” he told the crowd at the time before insisting that his “joking got misconstrued.”
To her fans’ disappointment, Taylor has not acknowledged any of the concerns surrounding Matty’s behavior. This has seen her get branded as “another complicit white woman” as people question how she could affiliate herself with somebody who has made such problematic comments.
Her Black, Jewish, and Asian fans have felt particularly hurt by her decision to both align herself with him and give him a platform with performances at her sold-out Eras shows.
At her Massachusetts concert Saturday, Taylor appeared to be dismissive of this response as she uncharacteristically decided to speak out on her personal life with this incredibly loaded statement: “I've just never been this happy in my life — in all aspects of my life — ever before.”
waking up to taylor saying she’s the happiest she’s ever been in her life aka doesn’t give a shit about the way she’s making her minority fans hurt right now is honestly the biggest fuck you i feel crushed
— cait 🌼 (@starcaitmall) May 21, 2023
@starcaitmail / Via Twitter: @starcaitmall
This seemingly blasé reaction to her fans’ concerns led some to cancel their preorders for Taylor’s upcoming album, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), and demand refunds for their tickets to her future tour dates.
. @Ticketmaster @TMFanSupport @taylornation13 I want my Eras Tour tickets refunded. I don’t want to sell them, I want my money back and taken out of Taylor’s hands. https://t.co/k46LGPYGJf
— slay. tay: 6/24 bey: 7/20 (@slaymamas21) May 21, 2023
@slaymamas21 / Via Twitter: @slaymamas21
And on Wednesday, fans became even more confused by the entire situation when Taylor announced a collaboration with none other than Ice Spice. The rapper will feature on a new version of Taylor’s 2022 track “Karma.”
“I’m a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch. So delighted to say that Karma Featuring the incredible @icespicee_ will be out TOMORROW night at MIDNIGHT ET,” Taylor wrote.
Um. SO much to tell you. I’m a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch. So delighted to say that Karma Featuring the incredible @icespicee_ will be out TOMORROW night at MIDNIGHT ET as a part of the new Midnights… pic.twitter.com/OaRrHBWTUw
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 24, 2023
Taylor Swift / Via Twitter: @taylorswift13
Ice Spice retweeted the star and added, “sweetest person ever thank u sm i love yuuuu.”
sweetest person ever thank u sm 😍💜i love yuuuu https://t.co/FxGxpsRQRK
— Ice Spice ☆ (@icespicee_) May 24, 2023
Ice Spice / Via Twitter: @icespicee_
But it wasn’t long before this collaboration was branded a “calculated” PR move and “blatant distraction” — which some had predicted would happen when Matty’s controversial behavior first came to light.
On May 16, one person responded to the backlash that Taylor’s relationship with Matty had sparked by tweeting, “I can already see how this goes. She's going to collab with a black artist or put several black people in her videos. Same thing with the gays. Everyone is going to forget she happily dated a man who loves doing Nazi salutes and black female torture porn.”
I can already see how this goes.She's going to collab with a black artist or put several black people in her videos. Same thing with the gays.Everyone is going to forget she happily dated a man who loves doing Nazi salutes and black female torture porn.
— Pussy Should Face The World! 🃏 (@Chivie__) May 16, 2023
@Chivie__ / Via Twitter: @Chivie__
And many have now argued that the fact that Ice Spice is the artist makes the situation even more insidious. Retweeting Taylor’s announcement, one person wrote, “The kind of white women y’all should be afraid of cause this is insidiously calculated.”
The kind of white women y’all should be afraid of cause this is insidiously calculated. https://t.co/T4oYyd3NYN
— ❤️🔥 (@theericklouis) May 24, 2023
@theericklouis / Via Twitter: @theericklouis
“This is not the PR move y’all think it is. Like it’s actually scary how people can move like this and y’all will eat that shit UP,” they went on. “all it took was this lil ass feature and y’all forgot??? No accountability, no apology for those that were harmed with her decision making. Bye.”
This is not the PR move y’all think it is. Like it’s actually scary how people can move like this and y’all will eat that shit UP 😭 all it took was this lil ass feature and y’all forgot??? No accountability, no apology for those that were harmed with her decision making. Bye
— ❤️🔥 (@theericklouis) May 24, 2023
@theericklouis / Via Twitter: @theericklouis
“Calculated afffff instead of addressing it straight-on, it’s, ‘Lemme collab to show that the racism was okay bcz look Ice Spice is collabing w/me!’ Atrocious behaviour,” someone else agreed.
Calculated afffff instead of addressing it straight-on, it’s, “Lemme collab to show that the racism was okay bcz look Ice Spice is collabing w/me!” Atrocious behaviour.
— Choo Choo (@tishas_tweets) May 24, 2023
@tishas_tweets / Via Twitter: @tishas_tweets
One more tweeted, “The fact that this is her first collaboration with a black woman in her 17 year career is telling.”
The fact that this is her first collaboration with a black woman in her 17 year career is telling
— Terrence Loves You (@roseroseaaa) May 24, 2023
@roseroseaaa / Via Twitter: @roseroseaaa
Another wrote, “Taylor Swift failing to address the racist comments Matt Healy made towards Ice Spice and then finding a way to profit off of her with a new collab is a text book example of white woman feminism. It’s convenient, manipulative and continues to shield and protect white men.”
Taylor Swift failing to address the racist comments Matt Healy made towards Ice Spice and then finding a way to profit off of her with a new collab is a text book example of white woman feminism. It’s convenient, manipulative and continues to shield and protect white men https://t.co/qZuTOmUm7e
— ⁷ (@undercoverARMY4) May 24, 2023
@undercoverARMY4 / Via Twitter: @undercoverARMY4
“just learned that taylor swift boyfriend said racist shit about ice spice a couple months ago. taylor swift pr team works harder than the devil,” one more mused.
just learned that taylor swift boyfriend said racist shit about ice spice a couple months ago. taylor swift pr team works harder than the devil https://t.co/ieN8hwxhiW
— kira 👾 (@kirawontmiss) May 24, 2023
@kirawontmiss / Via Twitter: @kirawontmiss
Over on TikTok, one person commented on a video about the collab: “Such a blatant distraction? Also like ‘we listened! Here’s what you’ve been asking for — no not an acknowledgment, just a re-recorded song & feature!’”
“everything felt weirdly passive aggressive,” another agreed.
Meanwhile, TikToker @InvisibleTheme, aka Tess, shared her theory that Taylor preempted the backlash that her public affiliation with Matty would spark and tried to get ahead of it by planning this collab.
In her video “Did Taylor Attempt to ‘Mastermind’ Her Own [White] Woman Redemption Arc in Advance?” Tess points out that Ice Spice presented Taylor with an award at the iHeart Music Awards on March 27, where they appeared to be on friendly terms.
Rumors that they were working together came exactly one month later, which was just days before reports first broke that Taylor and Matty are dating.
“Was this a preplanned redemption arc?” the TikToker asked before sharing their personal disapproval of the move. “And if so, the collateral damage of this plan is her fans from marginalized groups — it’s not worth it.”
“Wreck my plans, that’s my man.” 😬It’s also possible that Matty’s podcast shit storm was something she did not account for (which feels silly because it’s quite easy to predict how a man like him will continue to open his mouth in these ways.) Who knows how much control she has over pre-signed contracts etc but she’s still complicit in continuing down this path- “you play stupid games you win stupid prizes” #friendsofdorothea #rattyhealy
♬ original sound - Tess 🌈🌞🌼👸🏼
After it was noted that the copyright info for “Karma” was updated shortly before Matty’s apology, Tess speculated that it was Taylor who made this apology happen. She wrote, “woah Tay was rlly like I’m about to collab with her you better apologise’ & he’s like ‘what’s apologise?’🤔”
Other viewers were just disappointed by how “manipulative” the entire situation seems. One person commented, “it's the way Taylor uses real human beings as toys to paint a positive narrative about herself..”
Another wrote, “This is so weird exploitive and manipulative of her…”
Someone else addressed the way that Taylor has weaponized misogyny in the past in a bid to rebut any criticism that she receives. In a 2019 interview with CBS, she mused, “A man does something, it's strategic; a woman does the same, it's calculated.”
Perhaps anticipating this rebuttal, the fan wrote, “I remember when she was talking about women being perceived as calculated and then she pulls this shet.”
On Twitter, another echoed, “there’s only so far swifties can push the ‘taylor is a victim of misogyny and bullying’ to eclipse her blatant and horrifically passive white feminism. like I’m sorry to oomfs who stan her but I’m over it.”
there’s only so far swifties can push the “taylor is a victim of misogyny and bullying” to eclipse her blatant and horrifically passive white feminism. like I’m sorry to oomfs who stan her but I’m over it
— lisa⁷ is meditating 😵 (@alarelius) May 25, 2023
@alarelius / Via Twitter: @alarelius
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