Thursday, November 09, 2017



Taylor Swift under fire after threatening to sue blogger over 'alt-right' article

Taylor Swift and the American Civil Liberties Union are butting heads.

The organisation sent Swift's legal team a strongly worded letter denouncing her threat to sue a California blogger who accused the singer of supporting the white supremacy movement. The ACLU made the letter public on Tuesday.

"This is a completely unsupported attempt to suppress constitutionally protected speech," ACLU of Northern California attorney Michael Risher told Entertainment Weekly.

The spat began when Meghan Herning wrote a piece on the obscure culture blog PopFront that accuses Swift of supporting racist eugenics and compares the singer to Adolf Hitler

The main takeaway is that some white supremacists may have embraced Swift's popular lyrics and music videos as supportive of their beliefs, and that Swift is racist for not publicly decrying them.

Herning specifically focused on Swift's new hit single Look What You Made Me Do, which Herning claimed seems to offer "subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy." She wondered if the song serves "as indoctrination into white supremacy" for young girls.

In response, Swift's legal team sent a letter to Herning, who serves as the executive editor of PopFront, demanding a retraction of the story, which it called "provably false and defamatory." The letter said Swift is "prepared to proceed with litigation" if the story isn't retracted.

The letter, while menacing, didn't legally require anything of the blogger. It was the first step toward a defamation lawsuit, which would be hard for Swift to win. Given that she is a public figure, not a private person, she would have to show in court that the blogger made the statements with "actual malice" - in other words, knowing they were untrue and publishing them specifically to destroy the pop star's character.

 People in Swift's position rarely prevail in defamation lawsuits, but it's not uncommon for celebrities to use cease-and-desist orders, which have no force of law, to suppress negative stories.

The ACLU fired back with a letter on Oct. 25, claiming neither Herning nor PopFront would remove the article and that Swift's arguments don't hold water.

"The blog post is a mix of core political speech and critical commentary; it discusses current politics in this country, the recent rise of white supremacy, and the fact that some white supremacists have apparently embraced Ms. Swift, along with a critical interpretation of some of Ms. Swift's music, lyrics, and videos," the letter stated.

SOURCE

3 comments:

Stan B said...

Time for "White Supremacists" to start embracing and using Rap and Hip-Hop songs with lyrics that support their positions. Yeah...that should do it...

Paul Weber said...

The ACLU's view on this "doesn't hold water."

Bird of Paradise said...

Waah waah waah Taylor Swift please act mature