Actor Rachel Zegler is speaking out in defense of Taylor Swift amidst a flurry of misogynistic commentary surrounding her reported relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
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“It’s not news that the media is particularly (and unwarrantedly) cruel to Taylor Swift but the way men feel entitled to speak about women, their bodies, and their sex lives needs to be seriously evaluated,” Zegler wrote on Twitter/X in response to a video from a Barstool Sports podcaster requesting a “sex tape” between Swift and Kelce. “If Taylor Swift is going to be taking over our Sunday’s I’m going to need to see a sex tape. These are my demands,” the male podcaster wrote along with a video snippet of the episode. (His full quote in the episode: “If Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift release a sex video, I’ll consummate this relationship and be like, ‘Fine. You guys can have sex, you can be boyfriend/girlfriend. I don’t buy it… until that happens, I think it’s fake, I think it’s for clicks, and I think Taylor Swift is using the NFL to try to make her star bigger.”)
Zegler was quick to highlight the overt misogyny prevalent in the video and the double standards that female celebrities frequently have to navigate in the public eye, saying, “You will never see people speaking this way about a man. That goes for a lot of different scenarios,” she wrote. “We do not pick apart men’s attitudes and relationships the way we do women’s. And it’s not always just men who speak this way about us. Women can and do, too. It sucks.”
In two follow-up tweets, Zegler doubled down on her advocacy for Swift, writing “Leave Taylor Swift alone!” and “Seeing a lot of ‘it’s a joke’ but you’ve got to understand that since the beginning of time ‘you can’t take a joke’ has been synonymous with ‘let me say a horrible thing about women without suffering the consequences’ — we’re sick and tired! it’s never been funny! get a life!”
Zegler is a noted Swiftie who frequently shares her admiration for the musician, and she, too, has been subject to online attacks and trolling, particularly for her forthcoming titular role in Disney’s Snow White. Earlier this year, Zegler also came to the defense of Halle Bailey when racist Twitter trolls claimed a Black actor shouldn’t play Princess Ariel. “If you don’t support my girl Halle, who is the perfect Ariel, you don’t support any of us,” she wrote at the time.
Rachel Zegler isn’t the only one who thinks the media attention around Swift and Kelce’s relationship is getting out of hand. Travis Kelce himself recently spoke out against the NFL’s fascination with Swift and other celebrities during games. In a new episode of his podcast New Heights, Kelce’s brother Jason asked him how he feels about the NFL’s constant focus on Swift, including frequent shots of her cheering and Swift-themed content across social media and from pundits. “I think everybody is just, like, overwhelmed,” Kelce answered. “I think it brings a little more to the atmosphere, it brings a little bit more to what you’re watching. But at the same time, I think…”
“They’re overdoing it,” finished Jason.
“They’re overdoing it a little bit, for sure,” Kelce agreed. “Especially my situation.”