Grab the popcorn, sit back, settle in.
The Taylor Swift/Katy Perry feud is back with the vengeance of two women with the most public of platforms and the sharpest of cat fight claws.
Or is it?
This week, newsfeeds have been saturated with headlines squealing the excitement of a media cycle that likes nothing more than for two high-profile women to really, genuinely hate each other. Or at least purport to do so.
They looked a little like this:
Katy Perry Confirms Feud With Taylor Swift, Says Taylor ‘Started It’ and Won’t Speak to Her
Katy Perry finally confirms Taylor Swift feud and shares her side of the story on pair’s bitter fall out
Katy Perry responds to her infamous feud with Taylor Swift on Carpool Karaoke
‘She started it and it’s time for her to finish it’: Katy Perry blames Taylor Swift for feud as she tells James Corden she’s ‘ready for that BS to be done’
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift: A timeline of their friendship turned feud
Katy Perry: It’s Time for Taylor Swift to Finish This Feud
Of course, when Perry fronted Carpool Karaoke with James Corden this week, conversation inevitably turned to her new song Swish Swish and her reported feud with Swift. Because what’s the best way to sell a song? Pull Taylor Swift into the promo junket, slamming her in the process.
For context, Perry’s new song does have a few particularly pointed lines. Ones like this: “Your game is tired, you should retire, you’re about cute as an old coupon expired. And karma’s not a liar, she keeps receipts.”
In divulging details of the feud to Corden, Perry was frank.
“There’s a situation,” she said. “Honestly, it’s really like she started it, and it’s time for her to finish it.”
She then labeled the feud “so crazy” because it started with a trio of shared backing dancers. Apparently, they then moved from Perry’s tour to Swift’s, then when the former wanted them back, the latter fired them. Ouch.
“I do the right thing any time that it feels like a fumble,” she said.
“It was a full shutdown and then she writes a song about me, and I’m like, OK, cool, cool, cool, that’s how you want to deal with it? Karma!”
But as we begin to talk about the feud with reckless abandon (and giggle at how silly women can be, ‘catfight!’), we’re probably making ourselves the butt of the joke in the process.
Consider this: Katy Perry has a whole lot of records to sell and is experiencing an unprecedented struggle in the charts right now. When she released her long-awaited track Bon Appetit in her prized US market, the track debuted at a surprisingly low No. 76 on the Hot 100, and the following week was nowhere to be found.
People aren’t adoring Perry’s music as they once did, and if talent can’t generate publicity then controversy certainly can.
Listen: To be honest, we’re a bit done with imaginary ‘cat fights’…
There’s a reason Perry is only addressing the feud now. After years and years and years of rumour, innuendo and speculation, it’s not a coincidence that Katy Perry, while on a press tour promoting her new album, decided it was time, the perfect time, to talk celebrity feuds.
Is it clever? For sure. Katy Perry’s name is in every headline this week and if her music won’t sell itself, perhaps exposure can help out. But is it a bit, well, sh*tty? No doubt.
Not for Swift, Swift will be fine. It’s sh*itty for the rest of us. The women who can’t disagree with anyone publicly without being accused of tearing women down and insulting feminism in the same breath.
The more cat fights are indulged as pop culture phenomenons, the harder it is for the rest of us to disagree about anything at all.
Make no mistake, there’s a great big chance this feud is as contrived as it sounds. Click through, read the stories, but don’t revel in a female cat fight.
Because whose to say Taylor Swift isn’t in on it after all? She’s been out of the news for a little while, various reports have her pinned down to drop an album some time this year and PR is Taylor Swift’s bread and butter.
(Do the words Tom Hiddleston ring a bell…?)