Today in celebrity gossip: A long-rumored pop-star feud starts to boil over, plus a disturbing new look into Catfish's Nev Schulman's past, and Justin Bieber got nearly naked on national TV.
Ever since Taylor Swift escaped from the military research & development facility where she'd been accidentally struck by a stray bolt of lightning and rendered sentient, she's been traversing the globe spreading her particular brand of diabolically relatable pathos. No world-famous celebrity has ever mastered the "I'm just a regular girl" routine to the extent Swift has, and that's possibly more a testament to the emotional needs of an entire generation than a portender of Swift's enduring legacy. Still though, she's adorable and at least from outward appearances seems like a chill person. OR IS SHE? It would appear that a long-simmering feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry has bubbled over into the press, as both women are now subtly accusing the other of being a mean girl. And that is where you, dear reader, come in. As consumers of pop culture and eager masticators of celebrity beefs, we have now all been dragged into a gluttonous feast of drama! With whom will YOU side with in this bitter war of faux-teenagers? Here's a breakdown of what's gone down so far!
According to Page Six—and despite Swift's specific claim to the contrary—the beef began over a dude. Specifically John Mayer. Years ago, the then-19-year-old country star dated the much older lothario, found herself broken-hearted, and then wrote one of her many trademark kiss-off anthems about it. More recently, of course, John Mayer dated Katy Perry, which lead to a breakup equally as inevitable. But during their relationship Perry had mentioned in the press that Swift's song had been a particular low blow against Mayer and that he had been "really humiliated" by it. Because it's one thing to deal with a breakup via art, but Swift's song is called "Dear John," meaning she traded on her ex's celebrity to foster sympathy from fans. So yeah, Swift had taken their breakup public, which is a clear violation of breakup etiquette, so Perry had a point. Anyway, fast forward to this week's extremely juicy developments: Swift gave an interview to Rolling Stone wherein she recounted a series of run-ins with a certain pop star, and though she declined to name names, it's widely believed she was talking about Katy Perry here:
The angriest song on 1989 is called "Bad Blood," and it's about another female artist Swift declines to name. "For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not," she says. "She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, 'Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?'" Then last year, the other star crossed a line. "She did something so horrible," Swift says. "I was like, 'Oh, we're just straight-up enemies.' And it wasn't even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I'm surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It's awkward, and I don't like it."
(Pressed, Swift admits there might have been a personal element to the conflict. "But I don't think there would be any personal problem if she weren't competitive," she says.)
Yeah, lots to pick apart here, especially Swift actively omitting the fact that she and Perry had an ex in common. Or like how Swift claims to "hate conflict" even though she's the foremost mantle-bearer for passive aggressive beef-slinging in the music industry (nothing shows you hate conflict like releasing A SONG about your enemy and discussing the feud in interviews). For a supposedly nice girl, Swift really tends to find a way to get even with people while keeping fans' sympathies firmly on her side. As for Swift's claims of professional sabotage, Page Six points out that "last year some of Swift’s dancers left her tour for Perry’s" and further bolstering their claims of a rift, as recently as the VMAs "the two singers were seated in different sections." But then again, did you see the floor plan of those VMAs? It made about as much organizational sense as a toppled Jenga tower.
Meanwhile, Katy Perry isn't exactly a spokesperson for celebrity geniality—and her "I'm just a regular girl" schtick is even less convincing than Swift's—but in this case she's at least keeping her rebuttals brief, cryptic, and brutal:
Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing...— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) September 9, 2014
That's right, Katy Perry WILL throw a straight-up Mean Girls reference at her rivals, and it just so happens to fit nicely with a narrative that's been shaping for awhile: At least part of Swift's nice-girl persona is a mask to hide something much less nice. But if we're being real, who really cares if any of these insanely successful businesswomen are "nice" to each other or not? And exactly how much of our pleasure in seeing two celebrity women bicker in public stems from a patriarchy who insists that powerful women take each other down? That is a question for grad school essay writers to hash out, but Swift's newfound comfort with the "feminist" label might behoove her to stop participating in these narratives. For the time being, though, it's undeniable that the schadenfreude of watching Taylor Swift's everygirl persona evaporate in the harsh light of day remains a singular pleasure. She's a fantastic hitmaker and is probably a literal genius (and her fan service game is unparalleled), but still: Realness is almost always better than a pandering façade and it's thrilling to see that Swift gets closer to the real thing every day. Fingers crossed that happens before the military finally tracks her down and reclaims what is rightfully theirs! [Page Six, Page Six]
Perhaps you've heard the story of Catfish's Nev Schulman and the time he was was expelled from college for punching a woman? According to Gawker this fact hasn't necessarily been a buried secret, per se, but the circumstances of that incident became newly relevant this week when Schulman tweeted an image (since deleted) of himself seeming to make light of the horrifying Ray Rice spousal abuse video TMZ broke this week. Like, maybe it isn't cool to jump into a particular news item like that when you've gone on the record about having punched a woman? But where Schulman apparently had tried to control the narrative over his college incident by downplaying it as an unfortunate accident in his newly published memoir, Gawker rounded up several first-person accounts that seem to verify he straight-up punched a woman after she objected to his photographing her making out with her date at a school dance. Anyway, there's lots that is gross about this story, not least of which is that Schulman, like a certain pop singer we've just talked about, has made a career as being a prototypical "nice-guy" despite doing so on the backs of actual, damaged people. (Seriously, enough time has passed where we can agree that Schulman and the filmmakers behind the original Catfish "documentary" were the true villains in that story, right?) Also, this is just a reminder the Nev Schulman has a tramp stamp. I'm not sure if that's totally relevant here, but isn't it kind of very relevant? [Gawker, Page Six]
Justin Bieber recently took the stage at the Fashion Rocks charity event in Brooklyn to introduce a performance by (rumored former fling) Rita Ora, but because the outside world is a very different place from the smoke-filled party bus Bieber seems to live on, he was BOOED LIKE CRAZY. Fortunately Justin Bieber did some quick thinking and handled the situation to the best of his abilities. In this case the best of his abilities involved removing his pants and clothes and just sort of peacocking it up. Fair enough, Justin Bieber! E! has the clip, but here's what Bieber posted to Instagram with the caption "Just stripped on national television hahahaha it wasn't planned lmao":
Well played. But now the question is, whom should we boo next?? [E! Online]
I guess Lady Gaga went to a Garth Brooks show and hung out backstage with Chris Pratt?
ALERT: Alex Pettyfer has done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I repeat. Alex Pettyfer has done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Here is The Originals' Aussie bombshell Phoebe Tonkin sitting beside a cactus:
And finally, Scott Eastwood is beside himself: