The New York Times is facing criticism for running an intrusive article speculating on Taylor Swift’s sexual orientation. The article, titled “What We Made Taylor Swift Do,” was 5,000 words long. Editor Anna Marks openly suggested that Taylor Swift is secretly a member of the LGBTQ+ community by implying in her references to the community that she is sending subliminal messages about her sexuality.
“A single dropped hairpin in isolation may be meaningless or accidental, but considered collectively, they’re the unfurling of a ballerina bun after a long performance,” wrote Anna Marks. She went on, “Ms. Swift’s use of fallen hairpins in her artwork dates back well before lesbian identity was clearly a marketable concept in mainstream America. She is shown as one of us to queer folks.
There’s a Taylor-shaped hole in people’s ethics right now, according to CNN, which quickly revealed that Taylor Swift’s reps were not pleased with the post. This piece about Shawn Mendes or any other male musician whose sexuality has been questioned by fans would not have been permitted to be written, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Under the cover of a “opinion piece,” certain journalists appear to have no boundaries when covering Taylor, regardless of how intrusive, false, and improper their reporting may be. Additionally, Anna Marks stated, “I understand that talking about a celebrity’s possible queerness before they formally declare their identity feels, to some, too salacious and gossip-fueled to be worthy of discussion.”
“I share many of these reservations,” she went on, “but our culture limits what artists and their audiences can say and become because of the stories that predominate in our collective imagination.
Every time a gay artist sends out a signal and it is ignored, the signal is lost. Maintaining that signal requires acknowledging the potential for queerness while understanding the distinction between possibility and certainty.
Almost immediately after speculating about Taylor Swift’s sexual orientation, the New York Times drew criticism. “I’ve defended the NYT before when they published questionable op-eds… but this was the least defensible op-ed I can remember ever seeing the NYT run, made all the worse by the fact that it was written by a staffer who specialises in these speculations,” Variety’s chief music critic Chris Willman wrote on X.