Taylor Swift Threatens to Sue Blogger For Portraying Her as a "White Supremacist Figurehead"
THE FASHION LAW
Taylor Swift’s legal counsel has threatened to slap PopFront Magazine with a lawsuit for publishing an article about white supremacy and comparing the lyrics of Swift’s song “Look What You Made Me Do” and with the chants at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina. According to the cease and desist letter – which was sent to Meghan Herning, editor of the “online magazine about politics, culture and activism” – Swift’s counsel demanded that Herning “immediately issue a retraction of a provably false and defamatory story about Ms. Swift, as well as remove the story from all sources.”
The Cease & Desist Letter
The cease and desist letter that Herning received from Swift's counsel alleges that the article at issue – entitled, “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation” – “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 – which was signed by Venable LLP attorney William J. Briggs, II – goes on to state that Herning’s article, which was published on September 5, “knowingly regurgitates, repeats, and attempts to expand on a malicious lie."
"Among other things," the letter alleges that Herning's article "propagates such hideous falsehoods as: 1) ‘Taylor’s lyrics play to a subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy;’ 2) that there are similarities between Ms. Swift and Adolf Hitler; 3) that the ‘lyrics of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ are the most explicit in speaking to white anger and affirming white supremacy;’ and 4) that Ms. Swift’s purported silence regarding white supremacy means she supports Donald Trump and identifies with the white supremacist/al-right movement.”
With such allegations – and others – in mind, Swift’s counsel demands that in order to avoid litigation, “PopFront [must] immediately issue a retraction that is of equal prominence to the story and remove the story from all media sources.”
Oh, and according to Swift’s counsel, if Herning “publishes, disseminates or broadcast of any portion of this letter,” that would constitute a breach of confidence and a violation of Copyright Act, and in theory, she would be sued for copyright infringement.
As of now, Herning's article is still being displayed on her site.