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Taylor Swift Is Being Praised For The “Respectful But Firm” Way That She Handled A Seriously Infuriating And “Misogynistic” Interview Early In Her Career




It’s safe to ᴀssume that everybody knows what happened between Taylor Swift and Kanye West — who has since changed his name to Ye — at the 2009 VMAs.

But just in case it somehow managed to slip your mind, here’s a recap.

It was Sept. 13, and while it had been three years since the release of Taylor Swift’s debut album, she was still pretty new to the industry.

Taylor was just 19 years old at the time — and nowhere near the level of global superstardom that she is so renowned for today — so she was absolutely over the moon when her music video for “You Belong With Me” was awarded the Best Female Video VMA.

But just moments into Taylor’s acceptance speech, Ye — who was sitting on the front row — stormed the stage, snatched the microphone from her hand, and said: “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”

Beyoncé, who had been nominated for her “Single Ladies” music video, looked mortified as she was shown in the audience, and the crowd booed Ye as he returned the mic to Taylor and walked offstage.

Taylor appeared to be in total shock, taking the mic from him but standing silently alone on the stage until MTV cut to a prerecorded segment. Ye is said to have been escorted out of the building shortly afterward.
Van Toffler, the MTV producer in charge at the time, later told Billboard that both Beyoncé and Taylor were crying backstage after the incident. And, to make matters worse, Taylor was due to perform in the next segment of the show.

The first half of her performance had been prerecorded as it took part in a New York City subway, but she had to sing the final verse live onstage, and fans have since noted that her voice is audibly shaky at this point in the song.
After her performance, Taylor and her mom were ready to leave the ceremony entirely but producers begged them to stay. And when Beyoncé won the Video of the Year award at the end of the show, she invited Taylor up onstage so she could finish her earlier speech.

Ye later posted a public apology to Taylor, but the incident took on a life of its own as it dominated social media, and anybody who was anybody joined in on the discourse.