Taylor Swift is currently setting an example for, ahem, other artists about how to handle this kind of dispute
If there’s anything America seems to finally be waking up and learning, it’s that it’s well past time we center, celebrate, and raise up Black voices. Unfortunately, some people aren’t getting the memo. See: The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum who, in an attempt to change their name to remove its slave-owning connotations, sued a Black artist named Lady A to try to steal the name she’s been performing under for more than a decade. On the other hand, now we have Taylor Swift, who is setting an example on how artists should actually handle this kind of situation.
According to new reports, Swift did a very quick rebrand of the merchandise line set to support her new album, Folklore, after hearing from the Black owner of The Folklore, a site for African fashion designers.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, Swift had planned to call the merch line “The Folklore,” until her team heard from Amira Rasool, the owner of the website that already has that name. Rasool’s lawyers reached out to Swift’s team to let her know that the similar names were causing confusion for Rasool’s customers, and also pointed out that the logo for Taylor’s new merchandise was also really similar to the one she uses for her site.
Swift is currently selling sweatshirts, t-shirts, and cardigans with that name and logo, all to promote her new album that she released last week. Rasool says she got immediate word that the word “The” would be removed from all the merch, and that it would be marketed just as “Folklore,” the same name as the album itself.
“The main thing was having ‘The Folklore’ when the album was just called ‘Folklore,'” Rasool told Women’s Wear Daily. “I commend them for removing that, but I think there’s a larger conversation that needs to be had,” she said. “It’s not just damaging to one Black woman, it’s all the brands that we work with.”
Rasool also added that some of Swift’s fans have attacked her for speaking out, which, come on, guys.
“I think there was a lot of damage to my brand for me speaking out,” she said. “I don’t think I deserved that.”
She definitely does not deserve that, so here’s hoping those of Swift’s fans who are bad actors stop that. At least Taylor herself seems to be willing to listen to these complaints and respond with some class.