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Taylor Swift’s collaboration with Ice Spice raises eyebrows amid Matty Healy backlash

Some of Taylor Swift’s black fans renewed their frustration with the singer’s connection to 1975 frontman Matty Healy after Swift has announced a collaboration with rapper Ice Spice.

While fans were hyped for the remixed track “Midnights” featuring Ice Spice, which will be the first black woman on any of Swift’s songs, some questioned Swift’s motives.

Earlier this year, Healy engaged in behavior deemed racist, including laughing and joining in jokes poking fun at Ice Spice while appearing as a guest on a podcast. And although Healy and Swift haven’t confirmed a romantic relationship, the two have made headlines after they were spotted together. Healy was also photographed at several concerts on the Eras tour.

Given that connection, Swift’s collaboration with Ice Spice seemed like a calculated PR move, some said. Others said they thought the collaboration with Ice Spice was likely to be a long one, but remained disappointed that Swift has yet to respond to Healy’s previous comments.

“I don’t believe Matty Healy is a conservative fiend,” said Brooke Giles, 27, who considers herself a hardcore Swiftie. “And she [Swift] don’t comment on it. Instead, she again finds other ways to cash in on the controversy.

Representatives for the three artists did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Healy made the controversial comments on a February episode of “The Adam Friedland Show” podcast. During the episode, Healy, who is white, can be heard laughing at the jokes hosts Friedland and Nick Mullen make about Ice Spice’s ethnicity (Ice Spice is Dominican and Nigerian).

He also seemed to encourage the co-hosts as they mimicked Chinese and Hawaiian accents, and later laughed when the two mimicked Japanese accents.

The podcast episode was pulled from Apple and Spotify.

In April, Healy apologized for his comments, speaking directly to Ice Spice at a concert in Auckland, New Zealand.

“I never meant to hurt anyone,” he said. “I’m sorry if I offended you and, like Ice Spice, I’m sorry. It’s not because I’m annoyed that my joke was misinterpreted, it’s because I don’t want Ice Spice to think I’m ad—. I love you, Ice Spice. I am really sorry. I don’t want anything interpreted as mean. I don’t mind being a bit of a prankster…but I don’t want to be seen as some kind of bad guy.

Healy, Swift and Ice Spice did not weigh in on the controversy.

In her announcement on Wednesday, Swift said she’s a “huge fan” of Ice Spice, adding “after getting to know her, I can confirm she’s the ONE to watch.”

“Sweetest person ever thank you sm,” Ice Spice wrote in her reply. Tweeter.

Ice Spice previously shared her love for The 1975 in a Jan. 25 video interview with Elle.

Discussions surrounding Swift and Healy have been flooding social media for days.

“I love Taylor Swift as much as the next Swiftie, but this is such an interesting PR move,” writing another Twitter user.

Fans took to the #SpeakUpNow hashtag to share their frustrations with Swift’s association with Healy. The tag was also used in a letter written by a fan which was widely “liked” and shared on Twitter.

“Your voice has tremendous power and right now your silence is palpable,” the fan wrote. “We urge you to consider the impact of your own behavior and that of your associates and to engage in true self-reflection.”

Swift fans like Mike Mason, 24, said they were still angered by Healy’s comments.

“When I saw the comments I was honestly so disgusted and angry,” Mason said in an email to NBC News. “It was completely racist and unjustified, and I don’t think his apology is sincere at all.”

It was completely racist and unjustified.

-Taylor Swift fan Mike Mason on Matty Healy’s comments during a podcast appearance in February

Midway through the speech, some Swifties came to Healy’s defense, noting that he had previously advocated for progressive causes and women’s issues.

Comedian and activist Franchesca Ramsey has suggested Healy’s defense may be down to the parasocial relationship – the attachment fans may feel towards a public figure, especially likeable people who are highly active online – people have with Swift.

The artist is known for intentionally leaving clues of all kinds in her music videos, lyrics, and social media for her devoted fans to analyze and dissect.

“My view is that a large percentage of Taylor’s audience feels extreme loyalty to her because of the parasocial relationship she has cultivated with them throughout her career,” Ramsey tweeted. “Showing allegiance to her on social media is a way to feign closeness and a chance to be picked up/noted by her.”

Some said they thought the controversy served as an example of Swift’s privilege and participation in white-centric feminism.

“I don’t think she’s a terrible, awful person,” Giles said. “I always like to think it’s pretty well established. But I think she’s very negligent in her privilege.

Others expressed disappointment that the controversy had eclipse Ice spice.

Ava Brown, 24, said as a longtime Swift fan, said she found Healy’s speech “frustrating”.

“…a lot of people defend the things he says in a way that sounds like ‘Oh he was just kidding’ or ‘Oh that’s performance art,'” he said. she declared.

But Brown, who recently attended an Eras Tour gig, said to some extent the talk around Healy is boring because it detracts from Swift’s enjoyment of music.

“I’m just a Taylor Swift fan,” she said. “I don’t know what he said right or wrong or anything else. I think part of what’s become frustrating is that I just want to listen to his music, and I just want to be a fan.

nbcnews Gt

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