Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian are two of the biggest names in Hollywood. However, the women, who were once cordial, have been in more than a decade-long feud – and it all started with the infamous interrupting of an acceptance speech.
Why Did Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian Feud?
In 2009, Taylor won the MTV Music Video Award for Best Female Video award for “You Belong With Me.” The “Vigilante S–t” artist was up against fellow icons Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Pink – but she came out on top. In the midst of her acceptance speech, Kim’s now ex-husband Kanye West rushed on stage, took the microphone from Taylor and publicly slammed her.
“Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish,” the “All Falls Down” rapper said. “But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”
The classless moment became a memorable moment in pop culture history and is still talked about more than 14 years later. Kanye publicly apologized to Taylor for his actions after he was shunned by other artists, but the Pennsylvania native didn’t forget the traumatizing interaction and mentioned him in her song “Innocent.”
“Thirty-two and still growing up now,” the lyrics read. “Who you are is not what you did. You’re still an innocent.”
The musicians seemingly made amends as the “Shake It Off” singer presented Kanye with the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 VMAs and referenced their jaw-dropping interaction on the same stage six years prior. “I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish but Kanye has had one of the greatest careers of all time,” she said before the Yeezy founder continued to apologize shortly after.
Now, it seemed like all was good in the world of music – but the feud had only just begun.
What Did Kanye West Do to Taylor Swift?
In 2016, Kanye released his hit “Famous” and mentioned Taylor in a derogatory manner. “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous/ God damn / I made that bitch famous,” he rapped.
Given their slightly amicable relationship, fans didn’t know whether or not Taylor was on board with her reference in the song. However, the producer claimed that they had a conversation over the phone where Taylor liked the lyrics and gave him approval to include it in the song.
“Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account,” Taylor’s rep told The New York Times at the time. “She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that [expletive] famous.’”
Kim came to Kanye’s defense in July 2016 after she posted a series of Snapchat videos of his alleged phone conversation with Taylor. “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex,” Kanye read from the lyrics and asked her approval before noting, “Relationships are more important than punchlines.”
“I really appreciate you telling me about it. That’s really nice. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek either way,” Taylor allegedly replied, continuing, “If people ask me about it, I think it would be great for me to be like, ‘Look, he called me and told me about the line.’”
Once the video circulated the internet, people slammed Taylor as they believed she played both sides when it came to her feud with Kanye. However, she quickly called out Kim for fabricating the conversation.
“You don’t get to control someone’s emotional reaction to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the whole world,” Taylor wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post.
What Have Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian Said About Their Feud?
The same month that Kanye released “Famous,” Kim warmed up her Twitter fingers and put a dig on Taylor.
“Wait it’s legit National Snake Day?!?!? They have holidays for everybody, I mean everything these days!” Kim wrote on X – formerly known as Twitter – alongside a ton of snake emojis in reference to Taylor.
The Grammy-winning artist didn’t engage in the feud until an August 2019 interview with Vogue. “A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled is a very isolating experience. I don’t think that there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly,” she told the publication. “When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass ajemounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear or it could also be perceived as, ‘kill yourself.’”
Four years later, Taylor revealed that she did in fact disappear as a result of the online hate she was getting from Kim and Kanye’s fanbase.
“Make no mistake — my career was taken away from me,” Taylor told TIME in December 2023 after being named the publication’s Person of the Year. “You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar.”
The “Lover” songstress revealed that the fight took her “down psychologically,” which led her to temporarily move to a “foreign country.”
“I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore,” she admitted to the outlet, adding, “I went down really, really hard.”
After Taylor called out Kim in the story, sources told TMZ that the reality star has never apologized for releasing the edited version of the phone call.