In the final episode of the first series, teenager Ginny Miller (Antonia Gentry) and her mother Georgia (Brianne Howey) are arguing about her relationships.
During the row, Georgia assumes Ginny has broken up with her boyfriend, Hunter, to which Ginny retorts: “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.”
On social media, fans condemned the show’s writers for using a tired trope about Swift, whose relationships have been the subject of public scrutiny for years.
A similar joke featured in another Netflix original – Degrassi: Next Class – where a character claimed “Taylor Swift made an entire career off her exes”.
Some fans accused Netflix of deliberately trying to rile them up in order to bump their ratings, while others said it was a straightforward case of misogyny.
“It’s not sitting right with me the [sic] Netflix has two Taylor Swift projects on their platform and they are okay with treating her like this!!! RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFT,” one fan wrote.
Another widely shared tweet commented: “Can’t believe things like this are still happening in 2021, it’s absolutely disgusting and misogynistic.”
Swift, who has been in a relationship with actor Joe Alwyn since 2017, has addressed how the media discusses her relationships and her art on several occasions in the past.
Speaking to Maxim in 2015, she pointed out that a man writing about his feelings might be deemed “brave”, while a woman doing the same was “oversharing”.
In an interview with Australian radio station 2DayFM the previous year, she hit back at the claim that she only writes songs about her ex-partners.
“No-one says that about Ed Sheeran. No-one says that about Bruno Mars,” she said. “Frankly, that is a very sexist angle to take.”
She added: “I have a really strict personal policy that I never name names. So anybody saying that a song is about a specific person is purely speculating.”
Swift has since responded to the joke, branding it “lazy” and “deeply sexist”.
She also called out Netflix, which released her hit documentary Miss Americana in 2019, and pointed out the irony of the joke emerging on the first day of Women’s History Month.
Swift released two albums – Folklore and its sister record Evermore – last year.
Folklore is nominated for several Grammys at this year’s ceremony, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Cardigan”).
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