Two days after Vulture asked whether Taylor Swift was due for another backlash because she had begun dating “dirtbag” British rocker Matty Healy, the singer somehow got the word out that she and Healy have split.
TMZ and other outlets broke the big news Monday morning that Swift and Healy, the provocative lead singer of the band 1975, “are shaking it off when it comes to their relationship,” with a close friend saying that Swift is “single” again. Of course, it’s unclear when they broke up or why, or whether they were ever really dating — though it had generally become accepted in celebrity world that the two had become an item, just weeks after Swift broke up with longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
For anyone who wasn’t isolated from all media for the past month — who hadn’t, say, subjected themselves to an extended stay in Aaron Rodgers’ darkness retreat — they would have been forced to follow the extraordinary news that Swift had ended her relationship with her reliably handsome British actor boyfriend and taken up with Healy, described by Vulture as having the “Victorian-street-urchin vibe previously employed by the likes of Pete Doherty.”
Their relationship, first reported by the U.K. tabloid The Sun on May 3, felt “both impossible and inevitable,” Vulture said in another report. The musicians were once linked romantically eight years ago and have continued to share mutual friends and colleagues, including Jack Antonoff, who produced both of their recent albums.
Swift’s ardent fans — known as “Swifties” — “revolted” at the idea that their goddess was dating someone as brash and disreputable as Healy, Vulture said. He didn’t have “the precisely manicured public image that one would expect from Taylor Swift’s Boyfriend,” Vulture said. He’s known for making controversial statements on politics, culture and other music artists. More recently, he had begun to try to craft the persona as “a post-woke rock star,” though he could still switch “unpredictably between tenderness and trollishness,” as the New Yorker said in a recent profile. He has “inspired articles about the resurgence of the sleaze ball and the appeal of the sensitive dirtbag.”
Swift’s fans mostly focused on his sleaze ball, dirtbag qualities, particularly when they resurrected racist comments he made on the podcast, “The Adam Friedland Show,” in February. Healy and the hosts cracked jokes, including about the Nigerian and Dominican heritage of the rapper Ice Spice, the New Yorker and recently-announced Swift collaborator, Vulture said. He also laughed as the hosts did impressions of hypothetical Japanese guards at German concentration camps and told a story about pleasuring himself to “Ghetto Gaggers,” a porn site that’s known for graphic depictions of Black women being humiliated and degraded by White men, as reported by MadameNoir.com.
Much of the outrage over Healy’s comments were directed at Swift:
When asked by the New Yorker about the podcast, Healy dismissed people’s outrage. He admitted that he had tried, “a little bit,” to bait his fans. He also said he doesn’t believe that people genuinely care that much about what he said. If people were upset, he said, “you’re either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar. You’re either lying that you are hurt, or you’re a bit mental for being hurt.”
Well, Swift fans could be breathing a big sign of relief over the news Monday that they don’t have to deal with their real or “deluded” outrage about their star being involved with Healy. They can now focus on lapping up all the news about her marathon, sold-out performances for her Eras Tour.