Taylor Swift Reveals How She Survived the Kim Kardashian Feud Fallout: People Wanted Her ‘Canceled’

There was a time when people wanted Taylor Swift “canceled” following her feud with Kim Kardashian in 2016. As you might imagine, the feud fallout as a public figure was devastating for Swift, who shared that she endured a “mass public shaming” that was an “isolating experience.”

Taylor Swift Kim Kardashian feud
Taylor Swift | Daniel Torok/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

How the Swift, Kardashian, Kanye West feud started

If you want to trace the possible beginnings of their tension, look no further than when West stormed the stage at the 2009 Video Music Awards as Swift was giving her acceptance speech for her win for Music Video of the Year.

They put the incident behind them, but in 2016 West released the song “Famous,” in which he stated he and Swift “might still have sex” and that he “made that bitch famous.”

While Swift knew she would be referenced in the song, she didn’t know how bad it would be — then Kardashian shared the receipts with a video that proved Swift knew exactly what the lyrics would be (she knew some, but not all of what would be included in the song).

The public reaction was harsh

As the feud made headlines, Swift was branded a “snake” (hashtags attacking her included #TaylorSwiftIsASnake and #TaylorSwiftIsCanceled) and the hate was piled on her on social media. In the September 2019 issue of Vogue Swift recalled the “mass public shaming” with “millions of people” telling her she was “canceled.” She called the ordeal “a very isolating experience.”

She explained, “I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly,” adding, “When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being.”

Swift continued: “You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, ‘kill yourself.’”

How Swift got through the feud

Rather than let the haters get her down, Swift put that devastating experience into her music and even incorporated the snake branding into her message.

She explained in the interview: “I realized I needed to restructure my life because it felt completely out of control. I knew immediately I needed to make music about it because I knew it was the only way I could survive it. It was the only way I could preserve my mental health and also tell the story of what it’s like to go through something so humiliating.”

Swift recalled how she created the persona “Taylor Swift” based on the way she was portrayed in the media. She explained, “Yeah, this is the character you created for me, let me just hide behind it.”

She continued: “I always used this metaphor when I was younger. I’d say that with every reinvention, I never wanted to tear down my house. ’Cause I built this house. This house being, metaphorically, my body of work, my songwriting, my music, my catalog, my library. I just wanted to redecorate. I think a lot of people, with Reputation, would have perceived that I had torn down the house. Actually, I just built a bunker around it.”