One can presume that most people are aware of the infamous incident that occurred between Taylor Swift and Kanye West (now known as Ye) at the 2009 VMAs. However, if for some reason this occurrence slipped from your memory, here’s a brief synopsis.

On September 13th of that year, despite having released her debut album three years prior, Taylor Swift was still relatively new to the industry.

At the time, Taylor was only 19 years old and far from the global superstardom she enjoys today. Therefore, when she was awarded the Best Female Video VMA for her song “You Belong With Me,” she was ecstatic. However, her joy was short-lived as Ye, who was seated in the front row, stormed the stage mid-speech, grabbed the microphone from Taylor’s hand, and uttered these words: “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma can help you finish, on the other hand Beyoncé had one of the most necessary highest motion pictures of all time! One of the vital a very powerful highest motion pictures of all time!”

Beyoncé, who was also nominated for her song video “Single Ladies,” looked embarrassed as she watched from the audience, and the crowd booed Ye as he returned the mic to Taylor and exited the stage.

Taylor appeared stunned as she accepted the microphone, standing alone on stage in silence while MTV cut to a pre-recorded segment. According to reports, Ye was escorted out of the venue shortly thereafter. Van Toffler, the MTV producer in charge, later revealed that both Beyoncé and Taylor were in tears behind the curtain after the incident. To compound matters, Taylor was scheduled to perform again in the next segment of the show. Although most of her performance was pre-recorded on a New York City subway, she had to sing the entire verse live on stage, and fans have noted that her voice sounded shaky at this point in the song.

Following her performance, Taylor and her mother were eager to leave the ceremony, but producers pleaded with them to stay. Beyoncé, who received the Video of the Year award at the end of the show, invited Taylor on stage to finish her earlier speech. Later, Ye publicly apologized to Taylor, but the incident went viral on social media, with many celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Janet Jackson, sending the singer flowers. Even then-President Barack Obama weighed in, calling Ye a “jackass.”

Following the VMA incident, Taylor appeared on The View and shared her perspective on what had happened. She recounted her thought process at the time, which included excitement over winning, admiration for Kanye’s cool haircut, confusion over his interruption, and disappointment at not being able to thank her fans.

Later that month, Taylor had a series of pre-scheduled radio interviews, one of which has since gone viral for the way the host, MJ Kelli (real name Todd Schnitt), treated her. During the interview, MJ refused to discuss anything other than the VMA incident and got into an on-air argument with Taylor’s publicist, causing her to be rushed to finish the interview. Despite the difficult situation, many have praised Taylor’s “polite” and dignified demeanor throughout the interview.

Interestingly, just seconds after Taylor said hello due to a bad phone connection, MJ predicted that they would lose her, exclaiming, “I didn’t even ask about Kanye, but I’m talking about Nashville traffic and they hung up on us!” When they finally reconnected, MJ wasted no time in bringing up the drama, stating that the scandal had exposed Taylor to many new people who would likely become fans.

Taylor expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming display of love and support in response to the situation. She was particularly touched by the unexpected gesture of receiving flowers from Janet Jackson, which was something she never could have anticipated. The kindness and support she received from both familiar and unfamiliar faces was truly heartwarming and made a lasting impression on her.

During the interview, MJ inquired about whether Taylor had anticipated winning the VMA award. Taylor responded that she had not even considered the possibility and was taken aback by the excitement of the evening. As the interview continued, MJ acknowledged the potentially difficult topic and asked if Taylor was willing to revisit the incident once more for the benefit of their listeners.

Taylor shared that she was trying not to amplify the situation any further than it already was. She acknowledged that it had received more attention than she had expected, given that it had happened live on television for everyone to witness. However, she expressed a desire to move on from the incident and not dwell on it any longer. When MJ asked if she thought the incident had been scripted, Taylor paused before responding.

Taylor replied, “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I think we might need to discuss a different topic because I already talked about this in one interview and I don’t think it’s something we need to keep talking about.”

Despite Taylor’s request, the host continued to talk about the previous topic, saying, “It’s great for your career though, you’re the hero here and he’s the zero, and he did apologize. Do you think the apology was sincere?”

“I would really appreciate it if we could move on to a different topic. I’ve asked you three times now and I’m trying to be polite about it. This isn’t something we want to spend the entire interview discussing,” Taylor replied.

“Taylor, let me be honest with you. You have about 10 or 12 radio stations lined up after me, and they’re all going to want to talk about this,” MJ argued.

“Absolutely,” Taylor agreed. “But I think if I’ve already discussed this in interviews and asked to move on multiple times – I went on The View and just gave a brief overview…”

“I’ll tell you what, one final question and then we can move on. Just one more, and then I promise I’ll move on, okay?” MJ interrupted, with Taylor remaining silent. “Do you think, and I think it’s a valid question, do you think that Kanye West…”

At this point, Taylor’s publicist intervened and said, “Hey, guys, we need to move on from that question. I’m sorry, can we talk about something new?”

“Yes, I’m about to get to that,” the host argued. “I’m going to address that, this is the kind of thing everyone is talking about. I don’t watch The View, I find them very annoying – did she hang up the phone?”

Taylor’s publicist confirmed that she had hung up, and MJ raised his voice as he said, “I hate to point this out, guys, but you have 12 stations lined up after me. Everyone is going to ask the same questions.”

When the publicist seemed to suggest “guidelines” that were sent yesterday, MJ shouted, “First of all, I don’t do interviews where I get a list of things I can’t talk about.”

“Oh no no no, it’s not a list of requirements, no, sir,” the publicist clarified. “They just want to move on from that.” She then acknowledged that Taylor had addressed the controversy the first few times MJ asked her about it, but now she wanted to continue with the interview.

MJ hung up when Taylor’s publicist said they had the next station ready to go, and exclaimed to the people in the studio, “What the hell was that about?”

“I thought I was really good, I thought I was subtle, I thought I was nuanced,” he continued. “What the hell was that? My final question was going to be: Do you think Kanye West has a mental problem? Do you think Kanye West has a freaking screw loose?”

MJ continued to audibly yell, “How the hell are they avoiding this? They think they can avoid this? They’ve got New York and Dallas and Phoenix and Minneapolis. Do you think for a minute that any of the stations won’t be harder than me?”

Nearly 14 years later, when the exchange resurfaced on TikTok, people were horrified by it. Many praised Taylor for setting her boundaries and called out MJ for his behavior towards her.

“She set a boundary and they couldn’t respect that,” read one comment. Another asked, “Do you think they would have continued to press an older man for information like that? They were trying to take advantage of how young and polite she was.”

Others mentioned a second noteworthy moment from the interview, as one wrote: “‘Let me make a couple of pointers here.’ The audacity.” A fourth person echoed that by saying, “‘Let me just give you a couple of pointers here.’ The MANSPLAINING. He’s on a press tour. SHE KNOWS.”

“‘Let me make a couple of pointers here.’ Personally, I would have gone crazy,” agreed another. Another commented, “He thinks he can crush her because she’s younger. Go Taylor! Respect.”

The video also made its way to Reddit, where fans lauded the singer for being so gracious in the face of such disrespect.

“Taylor seriously was ahead of her time. She was always respectful yet professional and the reaction from other people was pure misogyny,” someone wrote alongside the video.

Others accused MJ of trying to silence Taylor so she could just “run over her.”

“The fact that she dealt with this situation with such grace as a teenager really speaks to her character. I would have asked for her to be treated with respect and walked out, and I’m 31,” another person wrote.

Someone else added, “Watching Taylor grow up is just watching men and a misogynistic society try to destroy a young girl’s spirit time after time.”

And that’s not the only interview that appears to have ended this way, with Emily Ratajkowski criticizing the media’s treatment of Taylor earlier this month after an interview with Ellen DeGeneres went viral.

Throughout the 2013 segment, Taylor repeatedly expressed her discomfort as she was presented with a slideshow of famous men and asked to ring a bell if she had dated any of them.

During a 2019 interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music, Taylor herself opened up about the sexist treatment she’d received in the media.

He said: ‘When I was, like, 23 people would boil me down to giving presentations about my love life and put people in there that I’d just sat next to at a party once, and they’d decide my songwriting was just a scam rather than a skill and an art.”

“It’s a way to take a woman who’s doing her job and who’s having success doing her job and messing with her,” Taylor continued. “And somehow it’s about completely reducing that ability by taking something that, in the darkest times, everyone loves to do, which is slut-shaming, you know? And it happened to me at a very young age, so it was quite difficult.”

Taylor also seems to be referencing her harsh life lessons in her 2022 song “Dear Reader,” in which she explicitly advises listeners: “Fold when you can, break when you must” and “You don’t have to answer just because they asked you to” – with both expert examples demonstrated by the celebrity in his interview with MJ.

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