Taylor Swift’s new Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, hit Netflix last week, and has already been hailed by critics as a well-crafted — and unusually intimate — look at the pop star’s rise to fame. It’s not comprehensive, but the film is fairly revelatory; Swift opens up about her relationship to publicity, touching on everything from her experiences with stalkers to how paparazzi photos have affected her body image.
She also discusses the psychological impact of her feud with Kanye West, as well as that of her 2017 sexual-assault case, which involved a 2013 incident in which DJ David Mueller groped her while taking a photo (Swift won her $1 symbolic countersuit against Mueller). For the most part, the documentary focuses on the feminist and political awakening Swift has undergone, apparently as a result of these experiences.
Viewers also get a few brief glimpses of the woman who guided Swift through many of these moments: Tree Paine, Swift’s infamous publicist. Paine appears in the latter half of the film, a picture of support and no-nonsense efficiency, slugging glasses of white wine alongside her client on a couch as Swift took to social media to publicize her left-leaning political views (for the first in her career) back in 2018.
But Paine has played a more substantial role in Swift’s celebrity than her brief appearances in Miss Americana let on. An imposing red-headed presence, Paine has been Swift’s publicity head since 2014 — through some of her most intense moments of public scrutiny — and has built a reputation as a quiet but ferocious PR pitbull.
Taylor Swift Is Just Trying to Stay Relevant “Miss Americana” shows a few behind-the-scenes glimpses of the music video’s creation, highlighting Swift’s almost pathetic and over-the-top eagerness to please her LGBT friends. “Literally just call me for anything,” she tells Jonathan Van Ness, the gay activist and expert for Netflix’s “Queer Eye.” Unsurprisingly, “You Need To Calm Down” won a VMA, and Swift used the platform to advocate for the Equality Act, which critics warn could wipe out pro-life laws and religious liberty protections in all 50 states overnight.
Interestingly, Swift inadvertently reveals what might be one of the key reasons for her transformation when she explains that female artists in the music industry must constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant and to maintain their popularity. “Miss Americana” moves smoothly and obliviously from that point to Swift’s much-lauded entrance into the Resistance, telegraphing a loud-and-clear message to her progressive critics: You told me to pick a side; I did. With that, Swift has reinvented herself again, and her career has taken on new significance as LGBT activists nod approvingly at her genuflection.
“I’m trying to be as educated as possible on how to respect people,” Taylor tells the camera blithely as she explains her re-education. She doesn’t explain how that fits in with her award-winning portrayal of conservative Christians as illiterate trailer-park trash, but then again, she doesn’t have to. Swift is now, as she says at one point, on “the right side of history,” and the pathetic rubes on the other side don’t deserve her respect.
“Miss Americana” ends with the words of one of Swift’s latest songs:
Combat, I’m ready for combat I say I don’t want that, but what if I do? ‘Cause cruelty wins in the movies I’ve got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you
Taylor Swift has picked a side, and she’s ready for combat. With who? I think we know.
Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as in print in publications such as National Review, the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator, LifeSiteNews, and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States. Jonathon is the author of “The Culture War” and “Seeing Is Believing: Why Our Culture Must Face the Victims of Abortion” as well as the co-author with Blaise Alleyne of “A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide.” Photo Taylor Swift/YouTube
Taylor Swift tallies her record-extending 19th No. 1 on Billboard's Digital Song Sales chart, as "Only the Young" launches atop the list dated Feb. 15.
The song starts with 30,000 sold in the week ending Thursday, Feb. 6, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, following its Friday, Jan. 31 release, the same day that her new Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, premiered.
Swift pads her lead for the most Digital Song Sales No. 1s over runner-up Rihanna, with 14, and Justin Bieber, Drake and Katy Perry, each with 11.
"Young" also opens at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100, which blends streaming, airplay and sales data, having additionally drawn 5.7 million U.S. streams in the week ending Feb. 6.
Taylor Swift and MISS AMERICANA director Lana Wilson discuss the magic of capturing her songwriting sessions on film.
Taylor Swift's new Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, gives fans the most candid look into her life and career yet--and even dives into the songwriting process that has produced some of the most relatable, poetic lyrics in the pop music world.
In a new clip shared to YouTube, Swift and director Lana Wilson chat about having camera crews in the studio, something the songstress had never experienced before, but noted wasn't "intrusive" at all.
"The ideas are my favorite part of everything I do," she explained of her creative process. "That moment where you’re like, ‘Oh I know what it’s called,’ or ‘I know what the hook is now.’”
"I have to capitalize on the excitement of me getting that idea and see it all the way through otherwise I’ll leave it behind and I’ll assume it wasn’t good enough," she continued.