Bad blood: Taylor Swift threatens to sue blogger over Hitler reference
After a tumultuous week long sexual assault trial earlier this year, Taylor Swift could find herself back in the courtroom, this time to sue blogger Meghan Herning for defamation following an article that was written about the pop-star which likened Swift to Adolf Hitler. On September 5, Herning, wrote an article titled "Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation" on culture and politics website PopFront. The post explores the way in which Swift has been painted as a figurehead for alt-right groups and white supremacy.
"Taylor's lyrics in 'Look What You Made Me Do' seem to play to the same subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy," Herning wrote. "Many on the alt-right see the song as part of a 're-awakening,' in line with Trump's rise. At one point in the accompanying music video, Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazis Germany. The similarities are uncanny and unsettling."
On October 25, Herning received a letter from Swift's attorney William Briggs, insisting that the post be removed from all media sources, and threatened a lawsuit if she would not comply. "[The blogpost] appears to be a malicious attack against Ms. Swift that goes to great lengths to portray Ms. Swift as some sort of white supremacist figurehead, which is a baseless fiction masquerading as fact and completely misrepresents Ms. Swift," the letter writes. Briggs' letter also forbids Henrning from showing the letter to the public without the firms' authority.
Upon receiving the letter, Herning contacted the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) who contacted Swift's legal team claiming that Briggs' accusations are unsupported. "This is a completely unsupported attempt to suppress constitutionally protected speech," said ACLU of Northern California attorney Michael Risher. The ACLU also labelled the letter as an "intimidation tactic" that is an "unacceptable" attempt to supress Herning's constitutional right to freedom of speech. The ACLU have given Swift's team until November 13 to respond.
Herning told the ACLU that "the press should not be bullied by high-paid lawyers or frightened into submission by legal jargon. These scare tactics may have worked for Taylor in the past, but I am not backing down."
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection