Taylor Swift and Matty Healy© Getty Images

Why Are People Mad At Taylor Swift For Dating Matty Healy?

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Being a Taylor Swift fan these days is an emotional rollercoaster. On one side you have the euphoria of the Eras tour and the album re-release, and then you have the singer hinting at a relationship with controversial musician Matty Healy. Can Swifties catch a break?

What’s going on with Taylor Swift and Matty Healy?

ICYMI, Swift announced the end of her six-year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn in April leaving fans, who thought he was The One, devastated. But reports started surfacing a few weeks ago that claimed the ‘You Need To Calm Down’ singer might be dating again. Many names came into consideration, including Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso.

Early in May, the tabloid The Sun published an article that hinted at a relationship between Swift and the lead singer of British band The 1975 Matty Healy. Soon the reports started gaining traction, as images of the two musicians hanging out together, often holding hands, started surfacing.

Taylor Swift and Matty Healy©GettyImages

The final nail in the coffin proved to be Healy’s appearance in three Eras tour shows in Nashville, USA, where he was seen having the best time with a few members of Swift’s famous squad and her dad.

If you can recall, Swift was romantically linked with the British singer back in 2014 too, but Healy had denied the reports outright, claiming that the idea was “emasculating”. A couple of years later, he had claimed that his comments were taken out of context.

Neither Swift nor Healy have confirmed the relationship, but it’s well known that there are no accidents in Swift’s universe and it’s suspicious how there hasn’t been any pushback on the dating reports and images.

So what’s wrong if Taylor Swift and Matty Healy dated each other?

With each substantiating image of Swift and Healy together, horrified fans of the ‘Lover’ singer began imploring the singer, via impassioned Tweets and misguided open letters, to distance herself from the problematic British singer.

Healy has been known for his edgy and problematic persona. The singer has courted controversy because of his provocative statements and bizarre onstage behaviour like the time he ate raw meat and kissed fans.

musician Matty Healy©GettyImages

But the biggest reason why Healy was deemed cancelled online was his appearance on the controversial podcast The Adam Friedland Show which is known for its crude and edgy-for-edgy-sake humour. On the podcast, Healy and the hosts joked about rapper Ice Spice, doing racist impressions of what her accent would sound like along with calling her horrible names. Healy also made horrifying remarks about sexualising brutalised Black women. The podcast was later pulled from Spotify and Apple, with Healy issuing a half-hearted apology for the same.

Healy’s controversial remarks on the podcast, and his overall problematic persona, were brought under the spotlight once rumours of him dating Swift began gaining steam. Swift’s usually squeaky-clean, girl-next-door image is at odds with the edgy and sleazy public persona of The 1975 vocalist.

Aside from expressing disappointment at her association with Healy, many fans have begun to cancel pre-orders of her upcoming re-release and have deemed her “another wealthy, complicit white woman”.

This is not to say that there are some Swifites who are backing her decision to date Healy. According to them, Swift can date whoever she wants, however messy, and fans should not have a say in her personal life. Which is a fair point but is an oversimplification of the intense parasocial relationship Swift shares with her fans, something that has benefitted her enormously over the years.

This brings us to the controversy du jour…

Why are people mad at Taylor Swift for collaborating with Ice Spice?

Swift recently announced that she would be collaborating with rapper Ice Spice on a version of her track ‘Karma’ for the upcoming Midnights (Till Dawn Edition) Deluxe album.

Ordinarily, this news would have been unanimously welcomed by Swifties as it’s always a treat when two talented singers come together for a project. However, the announcement paired with Swift and Healy’s near-confirmed relationship has soured the news of their collaboration.

Healy’s involvement with the podcast that made racist comments about Ice Spice has been highlighted once again and Swift has been accused of using the rapper to whitewash Healy’s reputation.

Swift has been under fire recently for keeping mum about the attacks on trans rights and the regressive laws being passed around the US. The singer has always had a convenient relationship with politics, with her cherry-picking issues she’d back and the ones she would ignore. Fans have drawn comparisons to artists like Lizzo, who have used their platform to highlight the attacks on trans rights across the country, and wondered why Swift has chosen to stay silent.

While Swift is primarily a singer and not an activist, her staggering influence over millions across the world makes her accountable for the things she chooses to support and ignore. The fact that she’s been associated with Healy so often recently, romantically or otherwise, without any denial or confirmation from her side has not sat well with many of her disappointed fans.

So what do you think, does Swift owe her fans an explanation for being linked with a controversial public figure?