Zara Larsson, Swedish singer, outspoken feminist, and relative new girl on the music scene, has made a powerful new enemy — multi-Grammy winner, Taylor Swift.
The shocking part is why: Black Lives Matter (BLM). Do not adjust your browser. You read that correctly.
Since Zara Larsson and Taylor Swift are both white, many may wonder why Black Lives Matter is the bone of contention between them.
To explain let’s rewind. On Friday (April 14), lauded rapper Kendrick Lamar released his new album Damn to critical acclaim.
Grammy-award winning Lamar has been a highly vocal advocate for black civil rights in America in his music, against a backdrop of increased attention and increased racial injustice, inequality, brutalization, and unlawful killings of black people within the U.S. Criminal Justice System in recent years.
Lamar, of course, featured on Swift’s huge 2015 hit “Bad Blood” and appeared in the accompanying music video.
So it wasn’t surprising that shortly after Damn dropped, a random Twitter user quoted an old tweet that Swift had posted back in March 2015, a few days after Kendrick released his album To Pimp A Butterfly album, which went in to win multiple Grammys.
“When that new Kendrick comes on,” Swift wrote in the 2015 tweet, alongside an image of herself and model pal Karlie Kloss wearing floaty dresses and posing whimsically in a natural outside setting.
Fast forward to Kendrick’s newly released Damn on Friday. A random Twitter user quoted Swift’s tweet and added “Say black lives matter” in the caption.
The reference to the modern civil rights movement was a clearly a criticism of Swift’s willingness to use Kendrick to “cool” up her music, yet remaining silent about serious issues that affect black people that Black Lives Matter represents.
say black lives matter https://t.co/8gtAfZhiQ3
— jaboukie young-white (@jaboukie) April 15, 2017
Larsson clearly shares that view as she retweeted the above tweet shortly after. All hell then broke loose when Swift’s fans found out and attacked Zara online.
The “Symphony” songstress has since unretweeted the controversial tweet.
However, the Internet forgets nothing.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 15, 2017
Larsson then posted a few tweets to explain her reasons for calling out Swift over the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Everything is not black or white. Just because I disagree with someone on a certain thing doesn’t mean I don’t like them as people,” she wrote.
The Swedish singer added, “People on twitter are rude as hell lol,” in response to angry tweets from Taylor Swift fans.
Larsson continued, “I feel like fandoms are putting artists against each other that never ever had a problem with each other before.”
Replying to a cruel tweet which cited Larsson’s low U.S. sales of her just released new album So Good, she wrote, “It did indeed first week in America! Which is not great but not bad and I’m so thankful for every single one listening. So your point is???”
After retweeting posts from supporters who mentioned the record-breaking streaming figures of her album, Larsson’s final (for now) comment directly referenced the concerns of BLM.
“I’m talking about people being killed by the police and y’all keep talking about album sales alright I see,” she slammed.
So, what now? Swift has been called out many times by outlets such as BuzzFeed and Jezebel for not speaking up about ethnic social and political issues, and perceived opportunism for tacitly parading her celebrity female “squad” as a version of feminism.
— MediaREDEF (@MediaREDEF) February 1, 2017
The singer-songwriter was also called out by a proportion of fans and media outlets for not attending the recent Women’s Marches.
Taylor Swift hammered on Twitter for calling herself a feminist yet not attending women’s anti-Trump marches https://t.co/pW2Srd7nIq
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) January 24, 2017
Swift has been lying low since she was dragged by the Internet last summer after Kanye West’s wife Kim Kardashian revealed Swift’s claim of not knowing anything about West’s “Famous” song (which referred to Taylor as a “b***h”), wasn’t true.
The implosion of Swift’s relationships with Calvin Harris and the widely-ridiculed Hiddleswift with Tom Hiddleston also prompted Taylor’s public retreat.
Reportedly prepping her next album, Taylor may well regard Larsson’s out-of-the-blue shade as not worth addressing since Larsson is a much smaller star, and Black Lives Matter is a divisive topic Swift has felt the need to address publicly before.
But while Swift will likely choose not to publicly confront Larsson or defend herself against claims of slacktivism, one thing is clear: fans of both artists will not forget the new feud anytime soon.
Over to you Internet.
when your debut album flops so hard and you need some promo pic.twitter.com/JEjRHxz49W
— M.W.S (@mwisnus) April 15, 2017
— imma let u finish (@swiftexol) April 15, 2017
Here’s some tea: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ sold more copies in its first hour than ‘So Good’ by Zara Larsson did in its first week. ☕ pic.twitter.com/TXVur5f2H9
— Taylor Swift Facts (@TSwiftFCT) April 15, 2017
— okumura (@ansoniporu) April 15, 2017
Swifties are the only fandom who think album sales matter more than a whole movement against racism. #zaralarssonisoverparty
— Pia (@jarianatrue) April 16, 2017
[Featured Image by Alo Ceballos/Getty Images]