Taylor Swift And Nicki Minaj Feud: Guide To Why Celebrity World Blew Up This Week
Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj threw the celebrity world into chaos this week with dispute over the MTV Video Music Awards. The two stars made peace on Thursday, but here’s a moment-by-moment recap of how we got to this point.
1. On Tuesday morning, the nominations for the 2015 VMAs were announced. Taylor Swift received the most nods, earning nine total for “Bad Blood” and “Blank Space,” including Video of the Year for the former. Ed Sheeran was the second most-nominated artist, followed by Beyoncé. All three stars are up for the top category, along with Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars.
2. Minaj received two nominations for “Anaconda,” but ranted on Twitter that afternoon about not receiving a Video of the Year nomination, and also complained about “Feeling Myself,” her collaboration with Beyoncé. Minaj’s tweets about the situation included, “If I was a different ‘kind’ of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well… When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination… If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.”
3. Because Beyoncé is the only “other girl” nominated for Video of the Year, and because Swift’s “Bad Blood” video features “women with very slim bodies,” some thought Minaj was shading Swift. Swift, thought so, too, and wrote to her fellow artist, “@NICKIMINAJ I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.”
4. Minaj responded to Swift, saying, “Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn’t say a word about u. I love u just as much. But should speak on this. @taylorswift13… @taylorswift13 I’m still confused as to why u just tweeted me when I made it abundantly clear…” Swift didn’t acknowledge any confusion, but instead wrote back, “@NICKIMINAJ If I win, please come up with me!! You’re invited to any stage I’m ever on.”
5. The exchange led “Nicki and Taylor” to become a trending topic on Twitter. Some expressed support for Minaj, arguing that she was making a larger comment about how black women are treated, and saying that Swift inserted herself into an issue that had nothing to do with her. Others, however, agreed with Swift, pointing out that she was the only person the tweets applied to. Some also noted how Swift’s how “Bad Blood” video didn’t only feature white women, and made mention of the fact that while Minaj may not have been nominated, other black artists did score Video of the Year nods.
6. Soon other celebrities started chiming in. Aaron Paul offered to broker peace, and Mars started his own faux feud with Sheeran. But it was Katy Perry’s tweet on Wednesday afternoon that caused the next big stir. “Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman…,” wrote Perry. While she didn’t mention anyone by name, much like Minaj hadn’t the day before, the tweet was interpreted as both a response to Swift’s tweet to Minaj about pitting women together and a reference to Swift’s success with “Bad Blood,” which many believe was written about Perry. Perry also showed support for bestie Rihanna, writing, “The real travesty is where is the shine for #BBHMMVideo when VMA eligibility period was 7/7/14-7/1/15 & that gem dropped 7/1… @MTV.”
7. Later Wednesday, Azealia Banks sent a number of tweets that were against Minaj AND Swift. Banks, who was also shut out from the nominations and on Tuesday blamed it on backlash for being an “opinionated black woman,” wrote about Minaj’s booty-focused “Anaconda” video, “But all u did was show ur ass, an ass we’ve all seen plenty of times.” She then went on to say, “I just think that EVERYONE in the Pop-sector gets away with being mediocre. So the awards shows just become a mediocrity contest.” Arguing that the “art world is f*cked,” Banks said, “Just because McDonald’s can sell a lot of food doesn’t mean the sh*t is gourmet.” She closed, however, by flip-flopping a bit, saying “Anaconda” was a “good video,” and she thought Minaj was “talented enough and has worked hard enough to not play the game anymore.”
8. Around the same time, The Daily Telegraph published an interview with Sheeran that was conducted earlier in the day. He said of his longtime close friend, “I think everyone knows that Taylor has done nothing wrong in that situation. She didn’t nominate herself for the awards. It’s not her fault. She just made some good videos and people think they’re good.” He continued, “I think the Minaj point is a bit redundant. Her point is that you have to be skinny and white to get a Video of the Year nomination, but Beyonce’s ‘7/11’ is in there, and that is celebrating the female figure in every form.” Sheeran also showed appreciation for Mars taking a joking approach to the situation.
9. But Thursday morning, Sheeran backtracked from the interview. Buzzfeed UK had picked up the comments, and tweeted, “Ed Sheeran said Nicki Minaj’s VMAs race argument is ‘redundant.'” At first Sheeran didn’t think that was an accurate summation of his remarks, and replied, “That’s taken out of context and not what I was saying was redundant at all.” He then clarified, “I was making a point about body image and not race, whilst sticking up for a mate, I definitely said it wrong though, apologies.”
10. A few hours later, Swift tweeted a formal apology to Minaj. “I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I’m sorry, Nicki. @NICKIMINAJ.” About an hour afterward, Minaj accepted, replying, “That means so much Taylor, thank you. @taylorswift13
11. Minaj then went on to praise Swift for her apology. After a fan commented, “I’m so glad Nic and Taylor made up,” the rapper responded, “I’ve always loved her. Everyone makes mistakes. She gained so much more respect from me. Let’s move on.”
12. A different fan then wrote to Sheeran, “Look @edsheeran, your friend is admitting she was wrong. Time for you to admit you missed the point.” He replied, “I’m very aware that I missed the point.”
And THAT is where things stand. Minaj and Swift have resolved their issue, although MTV hasn’t commented at all on Minaj’s original complaints. Now there’s still a month before Miley Cyrus hosts the VMAs on August 30. Will Swift win Video of the Year? Will she bring Minaj on stage? Will pop culture ever be the same? Stay tuned.