A few weeks ago, the feud between Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Taylor Swift was reignited due to a leaked extended video footage hitting the Internet… four years after Kim Kardashian dropped her version of the video. For those of you who may not know–although I am sure most do–Kanye West released “Famous” off of his acclaimed album The Life of Pablo in April of 2016. In his opening bar, Kanye raps “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex…I made that b*tch famous.”
When “Famous” initially came out, many supporters of Taylor Swift were upset. They viewed the lyric as disrespectful and a follow-up offense to when Kanye infamously interrupted Swift’s 2009 MTV VMA acceptance speech. In 2009, Kanye went on stage, and basically said that Beyonce deserved the award. Many were shocked and Kanye was widely perceived as a bully to those who support Swift.
To them, “Famous” was a repeat of the humiliation that Swift endured in 2009. Swifties, super fans of Taylor Swift, took to the Internet in droves to reprimand Kanye West. In defense of her husband, Kim Kardashian released a short video clip of Kanye speaking to Swift over the phone. In the video, Kanye tells Swift that he is coming out with a song and one of the lyrics is “I feel like Taylor and I might still have sex.” In the clip, Swift responds that she “needs to think about it,” but she does not flat out oppose the lyric. Instead, she says “‘I’m glad it’s not mean, I thought it was going to be like, ‘that stupid dumb b*tch.” She then later says that Kanye can feel free to use whichever line he wants.
Kim Kardashian used this short clip to show that Taylor did approve of the song and the use of her name. When Kardashian published the short video, many people viewed Swift as a liar, and it negatively impacted her pristine public image.
Fast forward to March 21st, 2020, when footage of the full conversation was leaked online. In the 20 minute video, the audience gets to see that Kanye indeed did not tell Swift about the “I made that b*tch famous” line; instead, he tells her that the line is “I made her famous.” Throughout the entire video, there is no mention of the final lyric that he placed in the song.
The extended video vindicated Swift because it showed that she was telling the truth and did not know that Kanye West was going to call her a “b*tch.” After the video leaked, Swift took to her Instagram story and said that she was correct all along. She then said that there are more pressing matters to pay attention to such as Coronavirus relief efforts, and she included a link for her fans to donate. Kim Kardashian responded via Twitter and continued to defend her husband. She then ended by also including links to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts.
A dramatic celebrity feud saga is minuscule in the grand scheme of things; however, it does provide an audience with a brief escape from their day to day lives. So much of our lives are now filled with tragic news of death and financial ruin due to COVID-19. Although I personally perceived the revival of the KimYe/Swifty feud as idiotic, I did appreciate the affordance it gave me to briefly take my mind off of the negative impact of this destructive virus. I am glad that both Swift and Kardashian used the resurgence of this feud to urge their followers to help with relief efforts.
In the end, Kim did realize that “there are people dying,” and used this petty situation to redirect her followers’ attention to something that matters: helping society defeat this pandemic.