Swifties v. Jake Gyllenhaal

Riley Schwanewede , Video Editor

The conflict ensues

The release of Red (Taylor’s Version) on November 12, following the massive success of her 1st re-recording of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) back in April, has launched the “Swiftie” fandom into a frenzy, where fans have taken to social media to voice their evident hatred for actor Jake Gyllenhall. 

Now you may be thinking, one; “Why is Taylor Swift re-recording her already-published albums?” And two; “What does this have anything to do with Jake Gyllenhall?”

Well to give some brief background, in November of 2018, Taylor announced that she would be leaving Big Machine Records, her former label where she recorded her first six solo albums. Following this, Scooter Braun, a record executive, bought the “masters” to these albums, which legally gave him control over a large majority of Taylor’s music. This outraged Swift, particularly because she had been trying to buy back her own masters herself. Now, in an effort to reign in the rightful ownership of her own music, Taylor is re-recording and re-releasing all six of her debut albums. 

The task of entirely recreating her old albums is certainly daunting, but Taylor has been able to release two of the six in this year alone, amounting to a whopping 57 songs. In addition to her old songs, Taylor includes tracks “From The Vault,” which are songs she had planned to include on the initial albums, but they never ended up being published. That way, when questioning listeners ask, “What is the point of listening to her new re-recordings if they are exactly the same as the old songs?,” they’ll find there is more of an incentive for fans to listen to the new music, outside of offering support for a female artist in her power play to own her narrative. 

So, “Why do the Swifties hate Jake Gyllenhaal?” you might ask. To answer this question, most fans point to Taylor’s song, “All Too Well.” This heartbreak anthem is widely believed to be about Taylor’s breakup with Gyllenhaal after they dated for three months in 2010. The original song was a massive success, but it was cut short to fit on the album. Now, with Red (Taylor’s Version), Taylor has released “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” which was the original length of the song and has thrown fans for a loop. The song describes Gyllenhaal’s ruthless gaslighting of Swift, his rudeness for “stealing her scarf,” and his lack of care for Swift since he missed her 21st birthday party. Not to mention, there was an almost 10-year age gap between the two, which proved to be detrimental to the relationship in the end. With the 10-minute version, Taylor has painted an ever-vivid picture for her audience of what it was like to be a young girl that was manipulated and used by an older man. 

To make matters worse for the now 40 year-old actor, Taylor released yet another surprise for her fans. All Too Well: The Short Film. This 15-minute video, which was directed by Taylor herself and released on the same day as Red (Taylor’s Version), clearly portrayed the whirlwind romance between Swift and Gyllenhall that ended in devastating heartbreak. The film features actors Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink, who both have a stunning resemblance to Swift and Gyllenhall, in addition to a remarkably similar age gap. Although the song has never been confirmed to be about Jake Gyllenhaal by Taylor herself, the film certainly swayed, or should I say absolutely demolished, public support for the actor. While I’m sure he’s a great actor, many fans sympathize with Taylor’s story of being wrongly manipulated and mistreated, so his reputation has been catapulted into the Hollywood trash bin.  

And to think, this all could have been avoided if he were to have just given her scarf back.