Listen to this story being read by Chelsea McLaughlin, here.
When music fans tuned in to the video for Taylor Swift song 'I Bet You Think About Me' in mid-November 2021, they had one, pretty unified gripe: its leading man.
The criticism flooded in.
"Yikes on the Miles Teller casting."
"Wish Miles Teller wasn't in it but he's playing a d*ck so I'll presume Taylor and Blake [Lively, who directed the video] were giving him a role they knew he'd be perfect for."
"I came to the comments to see Miles Teller getting dragged and I'm leaving satisfied."
The response was rough, sure, but it wasn't unexpected.
Teller had for years been on the outs in the court of public opinion. It began with a now infamous 2015 Esquire profile, in which a journalist sat opposite Teller in a restaurant and tried to figure out whether he was 'kind of a d*ck'.
By the end of the interview, she had decided he was.
This began open season. Other publications jumped, running stories with headlines such as '6 times Miles Teller was a total jerk (but don't call him that)' and 'Miles Teller on his well-earned douchebag reputation'.
Teller (obviously) disputed the characterisation, and later said the story made him feel "helpless" and "angry".
He knew that the average person, who read the article or were just told about it from a friend, would see 'Miles Teller is a d*ck' as the main takeaway. And he wasn't wrong.