Just saying, PR/Marketing
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Taylor Swift: The problem (?) with denials.



Today I read with interest Taylor Swift’s case.

A gist: Taylor Swift caused a stir on social media when an edited snapchat video was leaked that she actually approved the “offensive” lyrics written by Kayne West, and then turned her back on him to play the victim by saying that she never did.

Taylor’s case is interesting as clearly, both Taylor and Kim K./ Kayne West are not wrong. I’m going to make an argument here that this is the natural consequence of NOT a conflict in interest, but an alignment of interest.

That is to say, all these drama benefit both parties, and will result in more attention and therefore revenue for them. I don’t even think they are privately pissed about this issue–it is just a public performance. 

Evidence: duh! Kim K. timed the release of the audio five months after Taylor’s accusations.

A summary of the excellent Vox article: The fight is actually about Taylor Swift’s image.

“Every song she’s released throughout her career, every post she’s shared on social media — it’s all helped paint a portrait of Swift as your best friend. Her latest album, her tour, her Instagram photos, and her Facebook posts are all wrapped around the fantasy of being her pal and joining her coven of female friendship. With some pop stars, you want to be them; with Taylor Swift, you just wanna hang out with her.

Kardashian’s Snapchat video cuts through that veneer — throwing doubt on what your BFF Taylor Swift is telling you, making you wonder, well, if Taylor could lie about that conversation with West, what else could she be lying about?”

Here are both of Taylor Swift’s denials. First: 

“In that initial denial, she made it sound like there was no conversation with West — just a plea for her to release the song on Twitter. If you go by that account, all the politeness that’s seen in the video isn’t supposed to exist.”


But now that Kardashian made Swift and West’s conversation public, Swift’s new story is that when she and West talked, he didn’t tell her he was going to call her a “bitch.” She says he didn’t give her the full story on the phone. In the recording, she and West discuss the line “I think me and Taylor might still have sex” and West saying that he made Swift famous, but not the part where West calls her “that bitch.”

“While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ of a song you haven’t heard,” Swift wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination.”

So who’s telling the truth, and who’s lying?

I think both sides are telling the truth. Who would record phone conversations, unless there is a suspicion that things might be used against them in future? Alternatively, who would record phone conversations unless it is for a more innocent purpose of future reference?

Kudos to Swift being polite over the call actually.

So the point actually is this: If you are high profile and have an image to protect, FORGET about taking things personally.

Taking things personally is an extremely high price to pay for fame, to be honest. Just keep in mind that it is all a public performance.

Every professional in front of their camera would NOT show their emotions raw. This is simply being professional.

And when image cuts into real life? 

No media person would fear controversy. But let’s keep in mind that the highest form of resistance is silence.

Silence is how you might find truth, just as how following the money is how you might find lies.

This entry was posted in: Just saying, PR/Marketing
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Wan Wei is a PR practitioner with a heart for pretty things. Formally trained in public relations and quantitative economics, she is also a contributor to various ecosystems in Europe and Asia. Drop her a PM or visit her blog! :)

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