Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is encouraging artists to take control of their fans.
The “Nightcrawler” actor has faced a fair amount of cyberbullying from Taylor Swift fans after their public breakup. Swift, who has never been shy about incorporating her relationships into her songs, shared some intimate moments of their relationship in her 2012 album “Red.”
Although the drama died down, it was reignited when the “I Bet You Think About Me” singer released “Red (Taylor’s Version)” late last year. The album featured brand new songs that seemed to hint at their former relationship, especially the ten-minute version of her song, “All Too Well.”
Although Gyllenhaal was quiet on social media while he waited for the drama to die down, he recently spoke to Esquire to say that artists have a responsibility to encourage fans to stop cyberbullying.
Jake Gyllenhaal Says That Artists Have A ‘Responsibility’ To Tell Fans To ‘Be Civil’
During the interview, Gyllenhaal never called Swift out by name. However, it’s hard to ignore that some Swift fans did post some pretty harsh commentary online. Another Swift ex, John Mayer, even published death threats that were sent to him from one self-proclaimed Swift fan.
“At some point, I think it’s important when supporters get unruly that we feel a responsibility to have them be civil and not allow for cyberbullying in one’s name,” Gyllenhaal said.
He stressed that his comments were “not about any individual, per se,” but added that it’s “a conversation that allows us to examine how we can — or should, even —take responsibility for what we put into the world, our contributions into the world.”
Jake Gyllenhaal Wants To Shift The Narrative To ‘Empathy’ And ‘Civility’
Although it might prove controversial, Gyllenhaal compared the online cyberbullying within fan groups to the increasing amount of political division.
“We see that in politics,” he added. “There’s anger and divisiveness, and it’s literally life-threatening in the extreme.”
“My question is: Is this our future?” he continued. “Is anger and divisiveness our future? Or can we be empowered and empower others while simultaneously putting empathy and civility into the dominant conversation? That’s the discussion we should be having.”
Although Gyllenhaal was hesitant to call out Swift by name, he was asked what it felt like to watch some private elements of their relationship become public.
Jake Gyllenhaal Doesn’t Want To Talk About Taylor Swift!
During the interview, Gyllenhaal was asked about his relationship with the “Blank Space” singer. Although Swift has played coy about the subjects of her songs, a lot of the details line up. In songs like “All Too Well,” Swift made numerous references to their nine-year age gap.
At one point in the 10-minute version of the song, she sings, “You said if we had been closer in age / Maybe it would’ve been fine / And that made me want to die.” Later on, she sings, “And I was never good at tellin’ jokes, but the punch line goes / I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.” Gyllenhaal is currently 41 years old. His current girlfriend is model Jeanna Cadieu, 26. For reference, Swift is now 32.
During the interview, Gyllenhaal insisted that Swift’s songs have nothing to do with him.
“It has nothing to do with me,” he said. “It’s about her relationship with her fans. It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
He also said that he has not, in fact, listened to the full 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” However, he is aware of the backlash that it has caused, saying, “I’m not unaware that there’s interest in my life.”
Jake Gyllenhaal Is Grateful For The ‘Love And Support’ Of His Family
He also opened up about his relationship with Cadieu, who he has been dating since 2018.
“In a lot of ways, we’re family,” he said. “I’m in a relationship that is full of love and support. I feel so at ease.”
“My life is wonderful,” he added. “I have a relationship that is truly wonderful, and I have a family I love so much. And this whole period of time has made me realize that.”
He’s also grateful for the support he’s received from his sister, director and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
“She and I have reached a point where we really are friends. We rely on each other,” he said. Maggie added that she feels “closer to him than I ever have. I’m so grateful for him. He seems so great lately — generous and loving and really solidly there for me and my family.”