After a weekend of silence, Taylor Swift finally responded to the Friday night leak of an extended version of the infamous 2016 phone call between her and Kanye West. In a twist, she used the attention to promote fundraising efforts to help with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
An extended version of the infamous phone call between the two artists leaked online Friday. During the call, West asked Swift, who he famously interrupted during her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, if she would release his song "Famous" on her Twitter account.
“So my next single, I wanted you to tweet it...so that’s why I’m calling you. I wanted you to put the song out,” West said. He added that there is a "very controversial line" about Swift.
A nervous sounding Swift asked West if the lyric about her was going to "be mean." West said his wife, Kim Kardashian West, initially thought the lyric was "too crazy" but had later changed her mind and loved it.
“So it says, ‘To all my Southside n— that know me best/ I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex,” West said.
"That's not mean," Swift replied.
But that isn't the lyric that made it into the final version of the song.
The lyric that made it into the final version of the song is, “For all my Southside n— that know me best/ I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous."
West asked Swift during the call what she thought about him including the line "I made her famous," however, he never mentioned the word "bitch."
After the song was released in February 2016, Swift put out a statement criticizing the misogynistic language and said she was never told that she would be called a bitch.
Kardashian West soon posted an edited video online, slammed Swift in interviews and even claimed the star had come up with the lyric herself.
“She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much shit for things (when) he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved," she told GQ.
Swift rejected these claims, saying in a subsequent statement after the video's release, “Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world."
Critics accused her of lying to portray herself as a victim, and the backlash was so intense that Swift left the spotlight for nearly a year, NBC News reports.
“I just wanted to disappear,” Swift said about the incident in her Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana."
On Monday, the 30-year-old star posted a response to the newly leaked video on her Instagram stories:
“Instead of answering those who are asking how I feel about video footage that was leaked, proving that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family, and fans through hell for 4 years),” Swift wrote. “Swipe up to see what really matters.”
Swiping up on the story takes viewers to a donation page to Feeding America. Swift encouraged fans to donate the World Health Organization during "this crisis" if they have the means.
The new video that leaked Friday has prompted calls for an apology. The hashtags #KanyeWestIsOverParty and #TaylorToldTheTruth began trending on Twitter, with many taking to the social media site to share their thoughts on the subject.
"#KanyeWestIsOverParty Taylor Swift has been telling the truth from the start and y’all didn’t wanna believe her," wrote one fan. "Imagine who looks like the clown now #TaylorToldTheTruth."
"I know damn well it has been 4 years but it took so long for the truth to come out and you believed this man who bullied a 19 year old over her and cancelled her and gave her anxiety and I will always be mad," wrote one user.
"What a glorious day! Haters tried to cancel my friend time & time again. But guess what? She’s still winning, still breaking records, still being an ally, still boo’d up, still selling out stadiums like they’re Furbys!" musician Todrick Hall tweeted. "PSA; YOU CAN’T CANCEL THE CABLE IF YOU AIN’T GOT NO TV!"