It’s only taken four years but pop culture gossip hounds finally have the confirmation of the rumor they’ve been salivating over: Yes, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are beefing.
And, according to Perry, “She started it.”
Perry confirmed the rumors on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” prime time special Monday night, explaining that the conflict began in a 2013 dispute over backup dancers.
According to Perry, three of her backing dancers wanted to tour with Swift on the Red tour in 2013, which Perry was in full support of because, in her words, “I’m not on a record cycle. Get the work. And she’s great.”
She did, however, caution her dancers that in a year, she would be back on a record cycle, so if they wanted to rejoin her, they needed to build in a 30-day contingency in their contract.
After the year passed, Perry contacted the dancers, whom she was “very close with,” and let them know she was readying a new tour. They replied that they’d contact management and were subsequently fired from Swift’s tour.
Perry’s story, up to this point, seems to jibe with what had previously been pieced together from various interviews.
A 2013 interview from Examiner featured one of the dancers in question, who confirmed that he and two other backup dancers who had previously worked on Perry’s “California Dreams” tour departed Swift’s tour to join Perry’s “Prism” tour.
This also vaguely aligns with a 2014 Rolling Stone interview wherein Swift confirmed that her hit single “Bad Blood” was about a fellow female artist she had a falling out with.
“She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly nonconfrontational — you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it,” Swift told the magazine.
This may or may not be where Swift and Perry’s narratives diverge.
After the dancers returned to her, Perry claims she reached out to Swift in an attempt to discuss the matter, and Swift refused.
“I do the right thing any time that it feels like a fumble,” Perry told Corden.
“So you did the phone call and it was a shutdown,” Corden clarified.
“It was a full shutdown and then she writes this song (‘Bad Blood’) about me,” Perry continued.
However, at Corden’s probing, Perry conceded that if Swift were to text her to say, in Corden’s words, “the beef is off the grill,” that she would, in return, take the beef off the grill.
“I think that women together and not divided and without any of this petty (stuff) — women together will heal the world,” Perry concluded.