Taylor Swift Fans Have Been Left Divided After She Appeared To Defend Her Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy For The First Time On Her New Album

“We are the judgmental creeps. It's us... It's the first time she has alluded to resenting the fanbase,” one Swiftie speculated.

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Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, was released last night, and it’s most definitely got people talking.

Taylor Swift performing with a glittery top and a guitar

From supposed jabs at Kim Kardashian to insight into her relationship with Travis Kelce, Taylor appears to bare it all on the new album — the extended version of which contains 31 songs in total.

Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian standing side by side

But one celebrity in particular who is seemingly addressed at length across the album is The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, whom Taylor dated briefly last year.

Matt Healy in a leather jacket  performing on stage
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As you may recall, many of Taylor’s fans expressed their disappointment at her relationship with Matty at the time, given his string of controversies and the numerous offensive remarks he’s made over the years.

Matty Healy onstage

Not only did Matty publicly say that dating Taylor would be “emasculating” years before they got together, but he has repeatedly been accused of racism, antisemitism, and misogyny. Months before he and Taylor started dating, Matty was accused of doing the Nazi salute at one of his shows — days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He also made a habit of pretending to say wildly offensive remarks during his band’s recent concerts.

Taylor Swift in a backless dress hugs a man as they stand beside Matt

In Feb. 2023, Matty sparked further backlash during an appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast, during which he laughed while rapper Ice Spice was referred to as a “chubby Chinese lady” and “a fucking Eskimo.” A range of accents were also mocked, and Matty later candidly admitted to masturbating to Black women being “brutalized” on a hardcore pornography site. The podcast episode was eventually removed from Spotify and Apple.

Matty eventually apologized to Ice Spice for his comments on the podcast. “I just feel a bit bad, and I’m kind of a bit sorry if I’ve offended you. Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that me joking got misconstrued. It’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m a dick. I love you, Ice Spice. I’m so sorry,” he said at one of his band’s concerts.

With all of this in mind, many of Taylor’s fans — including Jewish, Black, and Asian Swifties — were extremely disappointed that she was choosing to align herself with someone who’d made so many controversial and offensive remarks.

Taylor Swift wearing a strapless gown with a sparkling choker necklace

Not only did fans start canceling preorders for her now-released album and selling their tickets to her tour, but several Swifties wrote an open letter urging Taylor to speak out on Matty’s controversies, with some even branding her “another complicit white woman.”

Taylor Swift performing on stage in a sparkling dress

Taylor did not address any of the backlash at the time. Instead, she told fans at one of her concerts: “I’ve just never been this happy in my life — in all aspects of my life — ever before.”

Meanwhile, Matty brushed off the criticism, suggesting that anyone who’d taken issue with his remarks was “deluded,” a “liar,” or “a bit mental.”

Matty and Taylor’s relationship was ultimately short-lived, with reports in June claiming that they’d “decided to just go back to being friends.”

Taylor appeared to be heartbroken by the split, with a video surfacing online showing her choking up during a performance of her heartbreak song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” shortly after she and Matty parted ways.

Fast-forward almost a year, and Taylor appears to have addressed the backlash toward her relationship with Matty for the first time.

Taylor Swift poses at an event, wearing a jewel-embellished dress with statement earrings

On her new album, which seemingly reveals many details about her and Matty’s relationship, Taylor has a song titled “But Daddy I Love Him,” in which she appears to defend the controversial romance and slam the people who’d criticized her for it.

Matty Healy onstage

Of course, lyrical interpretation is entirely subjective, and it is rarely revealed who Taylor’s songs are about. However, the singer is known to encourage her fans to work out who inspires her tracks by leaving Easter eggs and hints. 

At the beginning of “But Daddy I Love Him,” Taylor sings, “I just learned these people only raise you / To cage you.” This may reference the intense scrutiny she faced from some of her biggest fans while she and Matty were dating.

A closeup of Matt Healy in a suit and tie

“Too high a horse for a simple girl / To rise above it / They slammed the door on my whole world / The one thing I wanted,” she later continues.

In the chorus, Taylor sings, “Now I'm running with my dress unbuttoned / Screamin', 'But, daddy, I love him, / I’m having his baby!’ / No, I'm not, but you should see your faces.”

Taylor Swift wearing a velvet suit at an event

“I’m telling him to floor it through thе fences / No, I'm not coming to my senses,” she sings before later adding: “I know he's crazy / But he's the one I want.”

Taylor then sings about “saboteurs” who “protested too much” and told her song’s subject to “stay away from her.”

Closeup of Taylor Swift

“‘Stay away from her,’ the saboteurs / Protested too much,” she sings. “Lord knows the words we never heard / Just screeching tires of true love.”

Taylor goes on to sing: “I’ll tell you something right now / I’d rather burn my whole life down / Than listen to one more second of all this bitchin' and moanin.’”

Closeup of Taylor Swift

“I’ll tell you something 'bout my good name / It's mine alone to disgrace / I don't cater to all these vipers dressed in empath's clothing,” she continues.

“God save the most judgmental creeps / Who say they want what's best for me / Sanctimoniously performing soliloquies I'll never see / Thinking it can change the beat of my heart when he touches me,” she sings.

Reacting to the lyrics online, several Swifties interpreted “But Daddy I Love Him” as Taylor calling out the people who’d criticized her and Matty’s relationship.

Closeup of Matty healy

“We are the judgmental creeps. It's us. Actually it's the first time she has alluded to resenting the fanbase,” one Reddit user speculated.

Taylor Swift on stage accepting an award

“GUYS IS THIS ABOUT US???! Did we just get called out??” someone questioned, while another added, “Swifties are ‘Daddy’ in 'But Daddy I Love Him,' aren’t we?”

“‘But Daddy I Love Him’ is really a fuck you to the fans who wrote the open letter telling her to dump Matty,” one more person wrote.

Meanwhile, fans on X (formerly known as Twitter) were also in disbelief:

Oh… oh.. is But Daddy I Love Him about…. us…

— Cristina 🍣 (@TheBookofTaylor) April 19, 2024
Twitter: @TheBookofTaylor

but daddy i love him swiftie diss track

— 👑 (@eyesopens) April 19, 2024
Twitter: @eyesopens

but daddy i love him.... are WE the saboteurs??? pic.twitter.com/xYSjgSuXMo

— chan! (@folklorewlw) April 19, 2024
Twitter: @folklorewlw / Max

Pretty sure she just disowned at least half the fandom with But Daddy I Love Him. #TSTTPD

— Andrew Roth+ (@RothsReviews) April 19, 2024
Twitter: @RothsReviews


— bethany ♡ tortured poet 🪶 (@corneliastagain) April 19, 2024
Twitter: @corneliastagain

At the same time, some fans suggested that Taylor was well within her rights to call out the fans who’d criticized her for dating Matty.

Closeup of Taylor Swift

Some fans have also speculated that the song isn’t strictly about the backlash toward Taylor’s relationship with Matty, but about how her love life gets scrutinized more broadly.

“It was her fans deciding who she can date on the information they have from the complete outside. It was pretty intense,” one person wrote, while another added, “That shit was weird.”

Taylor Swift accepting an award on stage

"This makes me actually feel sick because i fully believe swifties ruined their relationship when she was at her happiest,” another post read.

You can listen to all of TTPD here.

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