Trent Reznor: Taylor Swift doesn’t talk politics because she’s concerned about her brand

Taylor Swift performs on her Reputation World Tour at Wembley Stadium

Now that some time has passed, I do think that Taylor Swift’s lack of political stance on Donald Trump is certainly better than Kanye West’s signed MAGA hat. Tay-Tay got a lot of crap for A) staying utterly silent on vital political issues during the 2016 election and B) staying utterly silent while Trump-supporting white supremacists openly declared her to be their perfect Aryan princess. Not only did she stay silent on those issues, she had her lawyer try to shut down a small-time blogger who merely made the observation that Taylor SHOULD shut down the white supremacists in her fanbase. Still, as I said, Taylor never tweeted a photo of a Trump-signed MAGA hat, so overall, it might be a wash.

But Trent Reznor still believes that Taylor can and should do more. Trent is 53 years old and still pretty punk. He’s gone on record multiple times about where he stands in the era of Trumpian white supremacy and the Idiocracy in which we now live. In an interview with the New York Times, Reznor was asked whether the current crop of pop stars and musical artists have a responsibility to speak out on political issues. This was his answer:

“I was doing press with somebody in the mid-90s, and they made an argument that stayed with me: that I have influence, and that it’s my job to call out whatever needs to be called out, because there are people who feel the same way but need someone to articulate it. And I think about that today, because it seemed like it was a lot easier to just keep your mouth shut and let it go back then. You don’t hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world, and top-tier, needle-moving cultural youth, because they are concerned about their brand, their demographic and their success and career and whatnot.

“What Donald Trump is doing is concerning and infuriating—and it’s not the conservative agenda, it’s not a question of religious preference, it’s not a question of should government be big or small. I don’t have any problem with those topics. But the disregard for decency and truth and civility is what’s really disheartening. It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch.

[From The NYT via Esquire]

I’d just like to put two things out there right away: so many people assume that IF Taylor ever did discuss politics, that she would end up identifying herself as more progressive/liberal, when the genius of Taylor’s Blank-Slate-ness is that we really don’t know. I seriously would not be surprised if she had voted for Republican candidates many times. The second thing I’d like to point out is that some people truly are NOT political, or they were raised to believe that “talking about politics” in public is somehow tacky and undignified. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Taylor subscribes to that kind of belief too.

Now, all that being said, Trent is right too: as the situation in America becomes more dire by the day as a fascist regime completely takes over, every single person needs to stand up and be counted on both sides. If Tay thinks Trump is Making America Great Again, then we have a right to know. If Tay thinks Trump is a fascist, then we should know that too. We’ve gotten to the point where there is no middle ground, no third option, no both-sides-are-equal.

Trent Reznor

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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126 Responses to “Trent Reznor: Taylor Swift doesn’t talk politics because she’s concerned about her brand”

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  1. Snowflake says:

    He looks good for his age. See, we can use it on men!

    • Beth says:

      He’s such a babe!

      • Kristen820 says:

        He keeps getting better with age. I always joke that men age like wine. Women age like milk 😋

      • OriginalLala says:

        women also age like fine wine – please don’t continue upholding the misogynistic bull that once a woman starts to age she becomes as appealing as curdled milk :(

      • Jess says:

        Amen, Originallala. I know a lot of older men who have not aged well and a ton of older women who are freaking gorgeous, but our culture says men get to be hot even with lines in their face and gray in their hair while stating that women must be unlined with the body of a teenager. So these trite sayings that perpetuate those cultural “rules” need to stop.

      • Kristen820 says:

        No offense meant, truly. It’s more meant to be a joke about the stereotype itself, not based in any sort of reality. But I guess I didn’t realize how it came across. Apologies

      • Grant says:

        Actually Kristen, your joke isn’t based purely on stereotype. I was listening to a report on NPR with a scientist and dermatologist who were talking about how when women age and go through menopause, they lose precipitous amounts of estrogen and collagen/elasticity in their skin–in numbers much larger than aging men.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Grant, you stopped by to say that NPR told you misogyny is okay?

      • kwill says:

        Bettyrose- I thought he was just trying to say that there are biological differences between men and women when it comes to the aging process. I don’t think he was saying, “no, the jokes about men looking better than women in their older age aren’t just stereotypes; they’re actually factually true in some ways, so it’s totally okay to continue saying misogynistic jokes!” I could be wrong (as I don’t comment here a ton so maybe I’m not aware of a well-documented pattern in Grant’s comments). I just didn’t see anything in his comment that read that way.

        Although, you make a good point in general re: that NPR piece. Broadcasting that information could very well be comforting to women (i.e. “I’m not crazy! My skin really is aging differently than my husband’s” or whatever), but it also VERY easily provides ammo to dickheads out there who feel even more validated making such mean-spirited comments because, “bro, it’s like, totally the truth, so I’m not in the wrong here.”

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Yeah, he does NOT look 53, more like 35.

    • Fifi says:

      “He looks good for his age”

      I always want to give people a taste of their own medicine with this sexist/internalised sexist crap. In all honesty this comment made me sad. It should have made me feel a little content or smug. Nope, I really just felt gross. I hate that anyone has to put up with ageist crap like that. But yes, he does look good for his age. It shouldn’t matter though :(

      I know your comment was in jest. I agree with where you’re coming from.

      • Bettyrose says:

        FiFi, so many benefits come with age though. Ageism and sexism suck (as already demonstrated in comments above), but looking and feeling good as we age is awesome!

    • Jordan says:

      He looks like if he gets another Botox treatment it’s going to come weeping out of his tear ducts.

  2. Maya says:

    Bullseye 🎯

    • ocjulia says:

      Yep.

    • Frida says:

      Everyone forgets she got her start in country, not long after the Dixie Chicks got blackballed from the industry for talking about Iraq. She still has a good deal of that middle American base.

      It’s the same reason Jimmy Fallon will never talk politics. He’s the only late night comic who they’ll tune in for, so he’d be losing ratings/money if he were to speak out.

  3. A Croatian says:

    I adore him, but I agree both with him and Kaiser. Maybe we actually don’t want her to talk because there is a chance she’s one of … them :’(

    • Harrierjet says:

      There is this. I get really disappointed when I find out about celebrities with right wing or racist points of view – the ones that I used to like that is. I do not follow or relate or like Taylor Swift BUT I suppose people have the right to keep their mouth shut about politics if they want.

    • Rescue Cat says:

      There’s no doubt she’s a fiscal conservative. So in the eyes of a lot of progressives she is one of them.

  4. perplexed says:

    I think it’s a little weird he references her specifically. I also think it’s a little weird he references the youth of today. Some young people speak politics, some don’t. That’s the way it’s always been.

    • Cmberry says:

      He referenced her because she is one of the top earning entertainers in the world if not the top earner. Definitely most popular among her demographic of middle class, mostly white, young women/girls.

  5. Babs says:

    I’m probably biased but I prefer by miles a noisy non-voter than a silent voter. This is Taylor types that got Trump elected, not Kanye types.

  6. Jillybean says:

    It’s so bizarre that he’s weighing in on her!?

    • perplexed says:

      That’s what I was thinking too.

    • Red says:

      Probably because whether you like it or not she is still one of the biggest pop stars we have. Not only that, but Taylor was put in the political spotlight around the election when she tried to shut down that blogger (and also when she didn’t say anything about those Nazis loving her). She kind of became the face of celebrities who refused to talk about politics. I don’t think it’s random at all.

    • Anatha A says:

      Why is it weird? She is representative of a generation of popstars. It isn’t only her, but a lot of younger stars, that rather care about their numbers than what’s going on in the world.
      For a group of stars like him that are used to speak out on topics it must hurt to know that there’s a trend among younger people to not talk about important issues if it means you might offend some of your followers and make less money and streams.

      • perplexed says:

        I think a lot of the younger stars are speaking out. I get the impression young people today in general are more political vocally than the older generation. Not every topic might be about Trump specifically, but a lot talk about gun control, women’s rights, and you see a lot of them posting on Instagram about the camps with children in them. I don’t get the impression a lot of them are silent — but I think a lot take on an issue or a couple of issues and from there you can sort of glean where they come from politically. When a young star posts a picture condemning the camps, I think it’s implied that that young star is against what Trump stands for.

    • QueenB says:

      He wasnt only talking about her though. Its not like he singled her out and went on about her. He talked about pop stars with a big young audience and she would be the first that comes to mind thats why he simply said “the Taylor Swifts” of the world.

    • Jordan says:

      It’s bizarre. He gives no mention to the male pop stars like Timberlake who have said nothing. But of course it’s easier to go in on a younger female for Trent. He’s been in the news now for a little bit with accusing The Weeknd and Kanye of stealing NIN’s stage sets and blasting social media. Guess Taylor didn’t leave a trail of honey to show Trent where she’s been.

      • tealily says:

        Huh?

      • Jordan says:

        Line reference to Reptile >_>

      • sa says:

        I get the point you’re making about not going after the male popstars who haven’t spoken up, but I’m not sure Timberlake is the example for that. He and Jessica Biel hosted a fundraiser for Clinton during the campaign, so while he may not be out there talking about it everyday, we do know he’s not pro-Trump.

      • magnoliarose says:

        As much as I dislike the Timberlakes they haven’t been nearly as silent or complicit as Swift.

      • Jordan says:

        Ah, I had no idea about that. Thank you for the information!!

  7. Caity says:

    I agree that there is no middle ground in American politics right now. I disagree that any non-political public figure is required to tell us who they voted for simply because they have a public profile.
    But as a member of the snake fam I wish my girl would do something about the horrible racist aryan princess shit. She can and should shut that down

    • tealily says:

      She would have if she wanted to. If she cared that much about it. I feel like the fact that she hasn’t speaks volumes.

    • Oh_Dear says:

      I agree with you Caity.
      It feels like we are in a time of many voices, many of whom are the disenfranchised and visible minorities – and they are loud and articulate and passionate. I follow quite a few super interesting people on twitter who have tens of thousands of followers, are super active, and are framing social justice from their own experience. I think it is on us the people to look to them and raise their voices. Yes Taylor has influence, but she shouldn’t have as much as our culture gives her and others like her. This is a moment to bring in other people who have experienced the repercussions of poor policies, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. For this reason, I am glad she isn’t jumping into the conversation – the more rich, white female voices we have taking up air space, the fewer marginalized voices some people will hear. Plus, I don’t think she would be the best communicator, and that detracts from the platform.

  8. QueenB says:

    But Taylor is political. When it suits her. If she hadnt used feminism to sell her album and tour and to shield herself from a couple of lame jokes she would have a little bigger leg to stand on.

    • Jenn says:

      True but that can also be written off as just “being a strong woman” which is practically a trope in the country music scene. Most female Trump supporters see themselves as strong women.

  9. dietcokehead says:

    I work with someone who loudly makes her politics known, did so even before Trump was a gleam in the GOPs eye. It’s exhausting. I would never share my political beliefs with my coworkers, not because I’m ashamed (I voted Hillary and there’s no reason for shame), but because I am there to work and get paid a salary. I can express my beliefs and march and protest on my own time. This is Taylor’s job, so I don’t have any expectation she would share her beliefs with me. It’s not my place to know.

    • tweetime says:

      There are times that I definitely agree with this. I’m pretty open about my politics (not in a hit you over the head kind of way, but if you discuss big issues with me it becomes pretty clear that I’m left-leaning, and if someone asks I have no problem sharing) but I have to remind myself sometimes that other people have the right to vote the way they believe they should – I’ll have issues with those who vote for problematic people, like Trump and the person that was just elected to head up where I live, but on a personal level with coworkers, at times I’ve learned to leave it alone.

      That being said, I think the issue right now is not wanting to know whether someone’s voting for Obama or Romney – although there are plenty of shit things about Romney, don’t get me wrong, the stakes didn’t feel quite as high. As Trent says, we’re coming up on issues of civility, fact vs fiction, and huge actions that severely impact the lives of some of us more than others. In those moments it feels like a privileged statement to decide not to speak up. Taylor can not speak up because she doesn’t need to – her whiteness and economic status protect her – and it’s kind of a gross element of humanity to protect her brand and finances at the expense of people’s lives. (Also – the privileged thing isn’t aimed at you AT ALL, I still totally get the need to hold down a job and abide by the rules there).

      • Raina says:

        Actually, I like when people make their politics known. It gives me a heads-up on who they are. Although it can be a bit much under ordinary circumstances to be so political vocally, these are not ordinary circumstances. We are in a living nightmare and I need to hear that shit being shut down from the roof tops. Just like the holocaust, there is never a good time to shut up about what’s happening anymore. I, for one, won’t.

        As for Taylor, I have this suspicion she’s not so…liberal or progressive?
        She’s probably somewhere in the middle, but not passionate enough to lose her fan base of rednecks.

    • perplexed says:

      I wonder if Instagram and other social media makes a difference in how pop stars respond.

      In previous ages, you could just say your opinion and the opinion just kind of floats out there and you don’t know what people are going to say back to you. But, now, if you put something out there, everyone comes for you on social media and it can be quite exhausting. I think the media age today is more complicated than what people in Reznor’s age range had to deal with.

      • dietcokehead says:

        I imagine it does! I think Taylor is probably a dem, but things are nastier than ever. Some people are crazy. If I were a public figure, I certainly wouldn’t share for fear of my life at the hands of some lunatic. And fwiw, Taylor seems to have learned her lesson on the oversharing. She hasn’t been giving interviews and she doesn’t use social media for anything other than album/tour promotion these days.

  10. grabbyhands says:

    Accurate.

    She knows what she’s doing and she absolutely does not want to alienate the Neo Nazi demographic that is bringing her attention. She ignores it and if anyone questions it, she shuts them down via legal threats. It wouldn’t be hard to disavow being the poster girl for white supremacists, but she refuses to do it because it doesn’t bother her. She’ll make a few small liberal concessions, nothing that will ruffle right wing feathers and then she’ll go quiet again.

    I loved this paragraph! Spot on, Trent.

    What Donald Trump is doing is concerning and infuriating—and it’s not the conservative agenda, it’s not a question of religious preference, it’s not a question of should government be big or small. I don’t have any problem with those topics. But the disregard for decency and truth and civility is what’s really disheartening. It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch.

  11. Shijel says:

    Well thank you for the f-ing obvious.

    I’m joking, I love T-rez. This is true, and I’m watching from my own little Chernobyl as the US ever unravels. I am watching my friends, most of whom are not straight or not lily white or male feel more scared and hopeless by the day. Tay is lining her coffers with her fans’ money, she lives a blessed life because she’s loved and listened to by so many. If she’s more left-leaning at all, this would be time to use the platform you’ve been given. God knows so many people could do and would do so much if they had a platform like that, but they don’t.

    But I suppose being rich white and pretty shields you from the vast majority of the ills that would befall her if she weren’t one or any of those, so why would she ever raise her voice, eh

  12. Lila says:

    I think Taylor doesn’t talk about politics because she doesn’t think about it. I know plenty of people who are not political. I can’t figure out why, but they are not.

    • Happy21 says:

      I tend to agree. I just don’t think she is a political person and maybe if she did speak up, she would come across as uneducated and stupid and she’s kept silent so she doesn’t say something she shouldn’t.
      I’m not a political person, at all. I’m Canadian and I don’t know barely anything about politics here. I work with a guy who pays attention and knows it ALL about both Canadian and American politics and when he talks my eyes glaze over, it just don’t say anything because I don’t have the knowledge.
      And if she does have an educated opinion, it is up to her whether she chooses to speak about it or not. There is no rule stating that anyone, celebrities, or laymen need to advertise their political beliefs.

    • Justme87 says:

      I have never been political, like at all, until now. I dont see how anyone can still claim to not be political with the shit show that’s going on right now. I never even knew what basic political term meant and now all of a sudden I cant shut up about it. Claiming the non political stance at this point is just saying you dont give a shit about anyone but yourself imo.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Absolutely.^^^

      • Yeahiknow says:

        This ^ I get what all of you are saying, but if someone calls you a symbol for nazism you wouldn’t say anything? Nah. I like her songs, but she is trash if she won’t denounce “Aryan pride”, I don’t care how many iTunes/records you sell. You either get on board for human decency or you don’t. I don’t care how much money I had at stake, my soul is not for sale ( unless that’s what she believes in which case yikes)

  13. Jayna says:

    Many stars have said nothing. Are we then demanding all of them discuss their political views?

    If so the Rock is always loved on here. No one on here ever jumps on The Rock. In a GQ interview, he said that Hillary and Trump asked for his endorsement and he said “he wanted to be extremely careful and thoughtful about the impact that an endorsement could have on his fans and on the country at large. So he told both campaigns he’d prefer to remain quiet and let Americans decide for themselves.”

    “I feel like I’m in a position now where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which is why they want the endorsement. ”
    He went on to say he respected the political process and felt like if he shared his views it would “either make people unhappy with the thought of whatever my political view was, and also it might sway an opinion, which I didn’t want to do.”

    • tweetime says:

      Legit point. I think not speaking up is really problematic, but it’s unfair to castigate some for it and not others.

    • ladie says:

      Yes! I would love it if all celebrities used their voices to openly speak out against injustice and to make the world a better place, but at the end of the day – they’re entertainers, not our personal social justice mouthpieces.

      And if we’re going to criticise Taylor Swift (specifically) for remaining silent, then we must do the same for every other celebrity who doesn’t openly discuss politics. Like you said, I don’t see the Rock getting the same flack for this as TS. If a person is not openly political then I say we judge them on their actions and I don’t have a problem with what Taylor has done on a political level. Her feminism may be shallow, and she may be a “snake” in her personal life, but that doesn’t mean she voted for Trump.

    • magnoliarose says:

      The Rock is a conservative but I doubt he is a 45 follower. I think he leans more libertarian. In the past, he spoke more about his politics but TS has a different track record. She has not disavowed her Nazi followers and sued a tiny blogger for pointing that out. Her history is different and a lot more problematic.

  14. Eric says:

    Trent is badass with a capital B. A true original and an inspiration to dozens of artists and thousands of misfits.

    If you could have a dinner/studio companion to talk everything plus music, you couldn’t go wrong with Mr Nine Inch Nails. Or Thom Yorke.

    Both legends at ages 53 and 49.

  15. So cool says:

    I love that her fans are so ignorant and are saying – who is this old guy? He is nobody who want to be relevant by talking about Tay Tay. She is a Grammy winner and he? And about snake and politics – she is from a conservative Republican family, Daddy loves Trump. And I agree that now there isn’t any middle ground. If you stay silent you only support Trump. Are we ok with people who was silent when Hitler discriminated and killed Jews? No. So why now we should be ok. They’re a lot of people who aren’t give a sh*t about politics when it doesn’t effect them. What Trump is going now isn’t affect Snake. She is living in her plastic fantastic Barbie world, with her millions. She is privilege white girl from rich family. What she knew about a normal life. Maybe it is time to acknowledge bc that SHE DOESN’T CARE. SHE ONLY Want to be rich and famous.

    • Shannon says:

      I come from conservative parents also. Neither of my parents like Trump, but they are at times Trump apologists. But sue me, I love my parents and prefer not to argue with them because this particular thing has pitted families against one another. We all just kind avoid political talk with one another. If it’s true that Taylor’s dad “loves Trump” (I’m not saying it’s not true, I just don’t know anything about her parents), that could also be a reason she avoids it. Look, it’s unrealistic to expect people to just toss people you love aside for some kind of ‘greater good.’ Random acquaintances – sure, I dumped any and all who support Trump. She may just not want to enter the fray in that particular way. She is coming from a place of privilege, I agree. But I can’t have a problem with her taking her feelings to the voting booth and not venting them onstage. She’s never been one to court controversy. It’s not like she used to and suddenly started saying nothing recently.

      • N. says:

        But see, that’s exactly what made Hitler so powerful. Not his chanting violent supporters but the millions who enabled him by keeping their mouths shut and looking the other way.
        There are times when you can afford to be non-political and ignorant, but sadly it’s not today.

      • MeghanNotMarkle says:

        It must be nice to have so much privilege that you can stay silent when children are being drugged against their will, families are being ripped apart, people who need healthcare are being stripped of their benefits, and we’re allowing white nationalists to make decisions for our country. Silence only benefits the oppressor. Hitler didn’t rise to power because people spoke out. He ruled because they didn’t. Silence makes you complicit.

    • Asiyah says:

      “He is nobody who want to be relevant by talking about Tay Tay.”

      Before you comment on someone you don’t know, do your homework. He’s far from nobody, and he actually helps Apple with their music department. So not only is he not a nobody, he has every right to weigh in on modern music today and people who don’t speak up when he is both a musician and works in the business side of music. This “nobody” has 29 years of musical experience, made great albums, produced for many including Bowie and has done film scores. And he’s not only a Grammy winner sweetie he has an OSCAR too! So sit the eff down.

      • So cool says:

        I konwertery rhat. I live Trent. But this is what snake fans are saying about him. They always need to make irrelevant all people who disagree with her. Or they’re so uneducated minions.

      • jammypants says:

        And he’s one of the leading musicians in his genre. Being a prominent part of a huge cultural music movement is more than….pop nowadays with no direction, no message, forgettable, insignificant. He’s like the Kurt Cobain of Industrial rock. To say he’s trying to coast on HER fame is so incredibly laughable.

  16. horseandhound says:

    I find it refreshing that she doesn’t talk about politics. Not because those topics aren’t important, but because, first of all, the opinion of a singer shouldn’t be that important, second of all, she has the right to be clueless and not bother with politics(many people that aren’t rich and famous prefer to keep their opinions to themselves instead of voicing them to everybody around them; many people that aren’t rich and famous don’t want to be bothered either), not everybody has to be an activist, and lastly, I find it wonderful that she is different and isn’t a slave to trends(because being political to this extent really is a trend among the celebs). I am convinced she wouldn’t talk about politics even if that made no difference and could hurt her in no way. I wish people would stop harassing her into being a certain way. she doesn’t have to be a bad person because she’s not shouting ‘I hate trump’ nor are those who hate him or pretend to hate him better people than she is. also, I’m not his fan, this is just a fact.

    • Anatha A says:

      There’s a lot middle ground between not caring and being an activist. I think in these times not knowing and not caring about politics is a privilege of rich white people, which is a problem in itself. It’s a symptom of deep rooted racism and the way she doesn’t care that she is benifitting from racism and allows herself to be used by actual neo-nazis is very telling.
      She could be apolitic and say she doesn’t like to be used by racists. What’s so difficult about that?

    • cd3 says:

      horseandhound, 100% agree!

      She’s a singer, who cares what her politics are or aren’t?

  17. Honest B says:

    The last thing the world needs is more celebrities giving their opinions, particularly political opinions.

    • cd3 says:

      Ha ha ha, yes, totally agree! I don’t think celebrities can win. If they don’t say anything, they’re called everything from nazis, fake feminists, complicit, etc etc. If they do say something (and esp if the Internet doesn’t like it), they’re called everything from nazis, fake feminists, complicit, etc etc. I don’t think they can win. If I were famous, I too wouldn’t say anything.

  18. Lucy says:

    Well, no sh*t, Sherlock. But seriously, he’s absolutely right. Can’t believe he’s in his fifties!

  19. perplexed says:

    To be honest, I think it’s more concerning that people don’t show up to vote rather than what a certain celebrity thinks politically. They can speak out all they want, but I’m not sure it makes much difference if people don’t vote.

    Maybe if the celebrities could knock on people’s doors and physically drag them to the polling stations, then I’d think “Yeah, that works.”

  20. MI6 says:

    I agree with TR – these days, silence is complicit. If you have that kind of influence, use it as a force for positive change. Lives and freedom are in the balance. How can you stay silent? Concern about your brand when the world is on fire? BS.
    How much money does one person need anyway?? Use that to make a difference in the world too.

  21. MrsBump says:

    Giving importance to the political views of celebrities is why America has Trump in the white house.
    Fame magnifies their opinions disproportionately, and give their generally ill informed views too much weight in the political discussion.
    Frankly the less we hear from all of them, the better. Anyone reading a blog discussing taylor swift’s opinion also has access to the internet and nearly limitless amounts of information and hence the possibility to make up his/her own mind about who to vote.

  22. dot says:

    I have a huge problem with this. Who is Trent Reznor to be speaking out about what a grown woman should or shouldn’t be doing with her voice and/or time? If he wants to be a political voice… good for him. The last thing we need are more men telling us when to speak up or not speak up. If Taylor Swift decided to raise her voice and she gave an opinion he disagreed with, would he then decide she needed to sit down and shut up? WOMEN DO NOT NEED MEN DECIDING WHAT WE SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE DOING.

    • Anatha A says:

      Feminism is that women get judged by their actions and not for being a women. So yes, people (men and women) can criticise other people (men and women) not using their platform to speak up and help women, children, POC, immigrants, and other people who are less fortunate than them.
      Being a feminist means that you sometimes have to speak up and not sit around complaining that people can’t be mean to you, because you are a woman.

      • MI6 says:

        Well said.
        No “Poor Me” feminism please.

      • dot says:

        I understand your comment, but disagree. Taylor can be a feminist and not speak up and she definitely does not need Trent Reznor to decide when she should speak up. Not everyone has to be an outspoken political activist and we should not allow other people to decide when we are doing “enough” politically. Some people use their voice, some use their time, and some use their money to act politically. We have no idea what Taylor does privately and we don’t know how much money she contributes to causes (I am guessing a lot). I just find it suspect that Trent chose to call her out when, as others have stated, MANY celebrities don’t speak out. Trent should stop wasting his time worrying about what other people are doing and stick to his own political activism.

      • Anatha A says:

        Sure. There are different ways to support people and not everyone has to speak out explicitely, because their actions speak for themselves.
        I think Trent didn’t call her out explicitely, but used her name as an umbrella for young stars like her (hence the “Taylor Swifts of the world”) comment. She was singled out by the media, because her name gets used a lot by neo-nazis and she didn’t refuse it. I agree that if you name her, you have to criticise others in the same way
        You tried to bring it down to a man can’t ever criticise a women. That’s something I have issues with.

      • Jordan says:

        Dot, But would you call it feminism if he had listed a different female that most of the world likes versus a woman most everyone hates? Or would you call it misogyny because he failed to bring up the men who have said nothing and are further complicit in their silence? I’m all for equal treatment but if you can’t give someone you dislike the same, then why say feminism at all? I honest to god want to know the difference.

      • Jordan says:

        Wait, wrong person. Not you dot.

    • Polly says:

      YES!

    • magnoliarose says:

      How about this. I am a woman and agree with everything TR is saying. So here is a woman telling Taylor to step up. So is it now better for you?
      Truthfully, I find that fallback argument overused. Men can criticize women when there is no sexism involved and clearly there isn’t any here. There is truth in what he is saying.
      Taylor is not a feminist. She hasn’t done jack for any causes or used her influence to advance feminist causes. What has she done to change anything?
      He chose her because her silence is deafening and she is known to be obsessed with her brand and image. Hence she sues and threatens when she doesn’t like how she comes off.

      • Jordan says:

        Nah but thanks for trying. Or good job. Nine inch nails has more influence and if you say they don’t, you’re a liar. But instead Trent whines about social media and takes aim at people the population doesn’t like. I like how she donated money to Kesha and assault victims so I’m not knocking her there. But tell me more how the man who gave tribute to Tate and her baby by buying the Manson murder home, turning it into a studio and naming it Le Pig. All the NIN fans have been Trump fans so. But whatever. You’re admitting that the public, as a whole, are unable to think for themselves so therefore a celebrity has to bring influence or talk about their likes or dislikes in order to sway a population. In that aspect, I completely see where you’re coming from! If we don’t have celebrities to tell us who to vote for then by gosh whatever will we do?! One thing I’ll agree with: swift is NOT a feminist and neither are half the women covered on the site.

  23. Shannon says:

    I doubt it would make much difference whether she said something or not. I like a lot of her music, but if she came out as a Trump supporter, I’d be like, ‘ugh.’ I wouldn’t change my politics to match hers – who even does that?? If she came out as having supported Hillary, I’d say, ‘cool, so am I.’ I’m into politics all the time, and as someone above said, I find it a bit refreshing to see that she’s not trying to sway anyone, she’s just singing. Some people just don’t thrive on politics the way others do. They vote and go on about their business. She’s never been particularly controversial so I don’t see why she’d start now. The private ballot, in the long run, is far more important than knowing how one celebrity votes.

  24. Tiffany says:

    In what world is Taylor Swift a liberal.

    Are you kidding?

    Nothing about this woman is rights and inclusion for all.

  25. perplexed says:

    Some celebrities speak out like Ben Affleck, but then at times they don’t vote. I don’t know how the lack of voting is supposed to help. He voted in the last election, but I’m not sure if that’s because Jennifer Garner dragged him to the polling station. Prior to that there were reports of him not voting even though he’s vocal politically.

    There was a shot of Taylor Swift at the polling station voting. We don’t know how she voted, but she did exercise her democratic rights.

    Some people go on ad nauseam like Susan Sarandon, and then we wind up wondering why they keep talking.

    • tara says:

      Jennifer Garner, a celebrity who has used her Mommy status for her image and is a Save the Children ambassador, has said nothing about what Trump is doing to kids at the border. No doubt it is because most of her fanbase are conservative, religious Trump supporters. She’s more concerned about her brand than 3-year-olds being taken from their parents and then dragged before judges.

      Ben always talked about his politics before he was made Batman. Now the studio has probably told him to quiet down for fear of offending fans.

      • Jayna says:

        Jennifer Garner actually was out campaigning on behalf of a Hillary Clinton, gave a speech backing Hillary Clinton, out encouraging college students to sign up and vote.

        Not every celeb has to be out there commenting on every issue. That is not their job. She went to Capitol Hill last year lobbying on behalf of support for early education for poor rural children. Again, people can’t keep picking and choosing on here who to blast for not railing against this administration. I am uncomfortable with this gang mentality about it. I do believe it doesn’t help anything anyway. Whoever wants to should, and if they don’t, they don’t have to. She’s a proud a democrat and I’m sure is donating to many candidates in her state to help.

      • Jordan says:

        Tara, actions speak louder than words. There are several celebrities that have voiced their dislike for the administration or situations but haven’t done much of anything. I’d rather read about an action that moved the crisis further to absolvement coming from a celebrity. I’d rather a celebrity is in the news for making philanthropist donations to educational resources for our children or to further push research on scientific advancements for illnesses and diseases. Hell, I’d love to read about a celebrity using resources to help reunite families over bickering about what political party they are or what woman is to blame.

      • perplexed says:

        “Ben always talked about his politics before he was made Batman. Now the studio has probably told him to quiet down for fear of offending fans.”

        Yes, he’s always talked about politics. But he hasn’t always voted. I remember it came out that he (and other celebrities) hadn’t voted in some of the elections despite telling everyone else to vote. In the end, it’s the vote that makes the bigger difference rather than whether you give your opinion to Rolling Stone magazine.

        The old articles can be found on the internet.

  26. Jordan says:

    All I’m seeing is this guy naming a female because it’s easier to shift blame and point fingers. Why not mention the Timberlake’s of the world since he’s arguably the same level of famous if not MORE than Swift? Ah, because men shift the blame to women as default. Trent reminds me of Lars Ulrich.

  27. Lala says:

    My guy…who spent decades in the music business said that Trent is one of the coolest…most decent human beings that he’s ever met…when Trent first started off in the music business…he worked almost exclusively for some of the biggest Black R&B talents out there…he’s ALWAYS been inclusive and respectful…

    And he used Taylor’s name…for a VERY…SPECIFIC…REASON….

  28. Tiff says:

    Kanye is a monster and cancelled for a tweet but the person who was literally named the poster child for the Alt Right and attempted to sue a blogger who had the audacity to wondered aloud why Taylor wouldn’t speak against her crowning is cool. Right. Darth Becky strikes again.

  29. Alberto Delano Cox says:

    Love Trent and he’s spot on regarding Taylor, but I disagree with him on one major point: Taylor Swift being apolitical makes her a complete outlier in her generation, that’s why it stings so much. Pretty much EVERY single Millenial and pre-Millenial popstar out there has taken a clear political stance in the last few years outside supporting LGTBI causes (which is like, the bare minimum). Even dumb ones like Katy Perry have been pretty vocal and articulate about supporting gun control, feminism and so on. Taylor’s on the wrongest side, you know, for someone other than Kanye. She just attaches herself to a wagon but won’t go all in, and it’s all about going all in now.

  30. Floydee Mercer says:

    Tay-Tay’s pontificating political is absurd. Her recent You-Look-What-You-Made-Me-Do-Look-What-You-Made-Me-Do chart topper is about as uplifting as being around a dry drunk. Funeral dirges are at the very least melodic. Were a wizard to conjure an imaginative miracle to give Tay-Tay the cognitive skills necessary to form abstract existential thought, and, in fact, were she to care so deeply, as to sell T-shirts declaring I ♥ [Insert idealogy here], her activism would have no more sway here at my house than do the epiphanous Kanye stylings. Bless both of their hearts. Neither is capable of forming in-depth reasoned opinions because they’re special needs both developmentally and socially; both with the maturity stuck somewhere in middle school.

    Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan demonstrated they indeed could talk the talk and walk the walk, lo’ so long ago. Maybe Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus can take up that mantle and lead common folk back to common sense. (Not bloody likely.)

  31. TitusPullo says:

    I haven’t gotten to read through all the comments yet (thanks Celebitchies for keeping me sane) but I just want to take a second and honk for Trent! One of my most beloved musicians beyond the late Peter Steele.

  32. tealily says:

    Well… yeah.

  33. Lizzie says:

    1) he looks amazing and i saw NIN on their last tour and more importantly – he sounds and performs better than ever.
    2) he is right. people with the clout of taylor swift who do not use their privilege to impact the most pressing issues of the times are a waste of our time and money. i know she probably does plenty of charity or goes and visits sick kids or something but i personally don’t think she is visible enough on matters of public urgency. she took on being a role model for young girls. she plays feminist on all her albums. she doesn’t have to say she’s for a specific candidate but she could do a voting campaign or voter registration at her shows with a non-partisan group to engage her very young audience in things that absolutely are important. particularly in this day in age where fascism is a legitimate threat all over the world – not just the US. i think she doesn’t know anything about politics b/c she is a typical, privileged white woman who isn’t impacted by most of the shit that is a threat to most people so she’s never taken the time to think about it. that thinking got trump elected. young people need to be engaged and the pied piper of tween girls is whining about boyfriends.

  34. feral child says:

    Trent is my forever bae, and he is right per usual, love him!!!!

  35. perplexed says:

    If you offer a political opinion as a famous person, I think you have to be articulate about it. Otherwise, people are going to laugh at you. She just may want to avoid people pointing out inconsistencies in her statements like they do with Scarlett Johansson.

    • Diana B says:

      I feel like they just want her to say something to tear her to shreds. “Say something so I can have evidence my hatred for you is justified!” When Susan S says something stupid, everyone is like ‘shut up, why would we want the opinion of some privileged white woman?’ But now here we are, demanding the opinion of another white privileged white woman, for what? I just don’t get the changing of minds around these parts.

      • Lady D says:

        I think it’s because TS can influence literally millions and millions of young new voters. SS not so much, although she did manage to get herself arrested along with 600 other protesters the other day. Is it possible SS has realized some of the damage she helped create?

  36. lucy2 says:

    I admire those who chose to stand up and speak out. Those who choose not to, that’s their right, they are not obligated to do so because their career puts them in the public eye. No matter how infuriating, we can’t force them to participate, but we can choose how we spend our entertainment dollars, and we can remember who fought and who sat it out.

  37. Ao says:

    Thank you for finally covering a star. Trent Reznor has been my crush for almost 20 years.

  38. FLORC says:

    I dont care what her political or religious values are.
    When she was dragged in by the neo nazi’s she should have shut it down.
    If some group I do not want association with starts using my image or references me as a thing they idealize and value I’m going to draw a line in the sand. Or appear to acquiesce. Even if it was just an indirect statement.
    Swift never did this. Some tiny statement months after trying to avoid it and having her staff intimidate bloggers into silence.

    It’s shady. She’s shady.

    • cd3 says:

      Yes, fully agree. She should have shut down the neo nazi thing.
      She can stay quiet on her political / religious views.

    • magnoliarose says:

      That is the whole problem. She isn’t totally innocuous. By refusing to denounce the alt righters she is complicit. A simple statement was all she had to do and she couldn’t/wouldn’t be bothered.

  39. perplexed says:

    The problem with a lot of stars is that they’re so inconsistent. Yeah, they can speak out, but so few live up to the ideals they espouse. Being a star doesn’t mean you’re either smarter or less likely to be a hypocrite.

    Harvey Weinstein isn’t necessarily a star, but he was well-known and powerful. He threw a lot of bashes for well-connected politicians — which, in a way was lending his voice to something. But then he was also going around raping women and forcing them to do things they didn’t want to do.

    Someone like Taylor Swift is “silent”, but I don’t think she’s damaging society at large either so it’s hard for me to really get worked up about her being “silent.” The most damage she’s done is hurt Kim, Kanye’, and Katy Perry’s feelings. On the other hand you have someone like Matt Lauer, who by virtue of his profession was able to sway how viewers into believing something, but also was misbehaving badly behind closed doors. Unless stars can live up to what they’re preaching, it’s probably better to just do the Taylor Swift thing — she doesn’t elicit admiration, but she also doesn’t elicit disappointment either when an action doesn’t align with her words.

    That said, I DO think stars should be ALLOWED to speak out. I just think a lot of them rarely live up to the expectations they set for themselves as activists.

  40. Juju says:

    I agree with 100% of what he has said. Although I disagree that the only options with Taylor are that she’s either a democrat or republican. I know many people who don’t voice opinions about political issues because they don’t know enough about the issues to have an opinion. They have the privilege of not needing to bother with the facts or looking closely at what is causing the chaos in our country. I believe many people abstain from voting because they just don’t have an educated opinion either way.

  41. MoAnne says:

    Here’s my take on Taylor’s silence:

    Famous dumb people thinking they can be political is how we got into this mess in the first place.

    I prefer we go back to seeing entertainers as nothing but entertainers. While that may be naïve, it would be nice if we didn’t give them more credibility than they deserve. Most entertainers are not bright when it comes to politics. I seriously doubt that Taylor is informed on current events, or able to string two thoughts together about our awful political situation. If she wants to stick to her lane, let her. Honestly, I would rather have a silent dumbass, like Taylor, than a loud braying jackass, like Kanye. Otherwise, we will have President who knows next? Kid Rock? Ted Nugent? That is, if Trump doesn’t go full dictator and make Ivanka the next President.

  42. Yes Doubtful says:

    She’s a republican and she doesn’t want to alienate her large female and gay fan-base. Regardless, it’s her choice and her business. I doubt if she would add much substance if she did get involved (I’m looking at you Kanye) anyway.

  43. Cali says:

    I don’t WANT her to weigh in. I’m drowning in politics and don’t want anything tainting my feel-good-bopping-my-head-around-in-my-car music. It’s literally one of the only feel-good things I have left in a world fulllllll of UGH and stress and general YUCK.

  44. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I love Trent and he is spot on, as always. Taylor is kind of the pinnacle of white privilege. Silence only benefits the oppressor and in this country we can’t afford to be silent. Saying we can is also speaking from a place of privilege. You don’t get to sound shocked or disgusted when we’re living in Gilead.

  45. Derpy says:

    You know yesterday there was anonymous tweet claiming Trent and Maynard James Keenan from TOOL and a perfect circle are rapists

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  47. Case says:

    Of course she’s worried about her brand. I can’t think of any celebrity as conscious as being on-brand as Taylor.

    She did make a statement on gun control a while ago, which thrilled me. I just wanted her to have an option on SOMETHING important — not even necessarily politics, just any cause. Most of the time it’s like she literally cares only about herself and nothing else. Yes, she’s lovely to children and fans, which is wonderful. But I would love for her to put her name behind a cause. I know it doesn’t matter what celebrities think, but I truly do believe it is their obligation to use their platform for good.

  48. Emily says:

    I really like how he described the current political crisis – that it is not about left vs right, because we’re not debating typically right issues like small government or religion, we’re debating human rights violations, assaults on democracy and racism. Those are issues that both sides of the political spectrum should see as wrong. Yet, because republicans want to keep power they’ll defend ideals that aren’t even theirs.

  49. FF says:

    Her actions spoke for her when she sicced her lawyers on a blogger for pointing out her complicity rather than remedying the actual complicity, so she doesn’t have to say anything.

    Any artist not ok with being co-opted by neo nazis has spoken out pretty quickly, if only on that subject. She chose to be silent. Speaks volumes.

  50. Ryon says:

    If nothing else, she should distance herself from the white supremacists. That she hasn’t is cause for concern. It conveys the message that she might not be opposed to the vile and reprehensible ideology that they believe in.

    But at this point nothing can make me like her, so there is that.