Taylor Swift's efforts to protect her reputation could be doing damage.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California wrote to the music superstar's lawyer on Monday, objecting to her demand that a blogger remove and retract a Sept. 5 post headlined "Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation."
The group was responding to a letter last month from Swift's lawyer that threatened a lawsuit against the blog, PopFront, whose mission is "re-centering the national political conversation and bringing together the left," and the writer, Meghan Herning. It also rejects the lawyer's claim that the letter itself is confidential, USA Today reported.
In the post, Herning writes, "The idea that Taylor Swift is an icon of white supremacist, nationalists, and other fringe groups, seems to finally be getting mainstream attention. But the dog whistles to white supremacy in the lyrics of her latest single (Look What You Made Me Do) are not the first time that some have connected the (subtle) dots."
Herning writes that Swift "is giving support to the white nationalist movements through lyrics that speak to their anger, entitlement, and selfishness."
She says Swift's silence on the matter of white supremacist support seems calculated.
In the letter to PopFront's Herning, Swift's lawyer, William J. Briggs II, writes: "The story is replete with demonstrable and offensive falsehoods which bear no relation to reality or the truth about Ms. Swift. It appears to be a malicious attack against Ms. Swift that goes to great lengths to portray Ms. Swift as some sort of white supremacist figurehead."
The letter also says: "Let this letter stand as a yet another unequivocal denouncement by Ms. Swift of white supremacy and the alt-right."
Speaking on Herning and the blog's behalf, ACLU attorney Michael Risher writes, "Mrs. Herning and PopFront will not in any way accede to your attempt to suppress their constitutionally protected speech. The blog post is a mix of core political speech and critical commentary; it discusses current politics in this country, the recent rise of white supremacy, and the fact that some white supremacists have embraced Ms. Swift."