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  • Christina Billie

Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West: Analyzing Incivility in Pop Culture

We all know not everyone can get along; that's just the way the world works. But, what if your feud was on public display for the whole world to see? This happened a few years ago to Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Today, we'll analyze how both Taylor and Kanye handled incivility during their feud.

In 2009, Taylor Swift won an award at the Video Music Awards (VMAs). Kanye didn’t like the results because he thought Beyonce should have won. Since he was feeling so strongly about it, he decided to go on stage and say that Taylor didn’t deserve the award, and Beyonce should have gotten it instead. This started the incivility between the two artists, but it didn’t stop there.

In 2016, Kanye released a song titled “Famous,” talking about how he was the one who made Taylor Swift famous. In 2020, a phone call leaked echoing the same point and calling her a snake. Taylor responded in a somewhat respectful way on her Instagram story. Paraphrased, she said she was manipulated, and what was said on the phone calls wasn’t true. All of this caused drama between her, Kanye, and his former wife Kim Kardashian.

Bottom line is Taylor acted more civil than Kanye did in this situation, but both of them could have been much more civil. First of all, Kanye should have kept his thoughts to himself in 2009, or, if he felt really serious about the issue, he could have conversed with a producer after the fact. In 2016, making a diss track was very uncivil of Kanye. If he was so mad at Taylor, he should have had a conversation with her.

This goes for 2020 as well. Instead of causing drama the whole internet would end up talking about, the two could have easily had a conversation about their issues and try to get everything resolved. While Taylor addressed the issue more civilly, she posted it with a passive aggressive tone. As stated before, she and Kanye could have had a civil conversation where they talked about their differences instead of having a huge public argument lasting over 10 years.


- Christina Billie, member of the Temple University Bateman 2021 Competition Team

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