Pop star Taylor Swift has allowed one of her songs to be used in a political campaign ad, a decision that drew harsh criticism from social media users. The musician's "Only the Young" was released in January. The tune, where Swift sings about "big bad man" Donald Trump, mass shootings, and rigged elections, was featured in an ad encouraging young people to vote in the upcoming presidential elections.
The ad shows events that have occurred during Donald Trump's presidency - MeToo and Black Lives Matter protests, crying child immigrants, Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, Donald Trump removing his mask after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and other scenes.
"They aren't gonna help us. Too busy helping themselves. They aren't gonna change this. We gotta do it ourselves", reads the lyrics to the part of the song used in the ad.
The video ends with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden comforting a relative of one of the victims of the Parkland shooting by saying: "We're gonna be okay. I promise you". Joe Biden's running mate Kamala Harris posted the ad on her social media and thanked Swift for allowing them to use her song.
Netizens however were less enthusiastic about the musician's decision.
One of the dumbest things she will ever do— nick passion awareness (@nick0time) October 31, 2020
🤢🤮— Ashley From Cali (@Ash_Bash_2014) October 30, 2020
Many users pointed out that voters shouldn't listen to celebrities when it comes to politics.
Hilarious . Nobody cares what Taylor Swift or any of the other celebrities say !!! They are all full of themselves thinking that their opinion matters to the general public .— WSD (@Builderman685) October 30, 2020
Anyone listening to any celebrity to determine their beliefs is a SHEEP— Styler knows best (@StylerKnows) October 30, 2020
Others criticised Swift for supporting Joe Biden given his political record.
@taylorswift13 should've said no to JOE BIDEN who voted for trade deals that shipped jobs overseas, cheered illegal immigration that drove down wages, supported foreign wars that sent men & women to be killed & maimed, and pushed laws that sent more black men to jail, for longer.— Claude (@cbiaget) October 30, 2020
The former vice-president and 2020 presidential hopeful backed a 2005 bill that stripped students of bankruptcy protections and left millions in financial stress— jpi (@jpi331) October 30, 2020
There were those who lauded the musician for taking a stance on the issue.
And for that I'm voting for Taylor Swift for Artist of The Year at the #AMAs— stream 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑘𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑒 (@nilsjobergsa) October 30, 2020
Taylor, Thank you a million times. This move just won the election for President Biden⭐— Iwannavette (@Iwannavette1) October 31, 2020
Still others joked about the title of Taylor Swift's song "Only the Young" and imagined how Kanye West would react to her move.
For the oldest candidate running— FallingDebris (@VolatileAmine) October 30, 2020
Was anyone else genuinely hoping Kanye West interrupted this with, "Imma let y'all finish but Donald Trump is the best President we've had in decades!"— Ben Wilder (@Wilderness615) October 30, 2020
Taylor Swift has been apolitical for most of her music career. The pop star repeatedly said she was afraid that her comments might influence people. However, she became a harsh critic of Donald Trump following the 2018 mid-term elections. Earlier this year, the singer-songwriter tweeted to Trump: "We will vote you out in November".