On her newly released album, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” there is an extended version of the song, which was first released in 2012. It includes new lyrics some many speculated to be about Swift’s brief relationship with the actor years ago.
“It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” Gyllenhaal told Esquire of the song.
He continued: “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
When the song was re-released, it unleashed a wave of negative attention on Gyllenhaal from Swift supporters.
“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.
“That begs for a deeper philosophical question. Not about any individual, per se, but 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,” he added. “How do we provoke a conversation? We see that in politics. There’s anger and divisiveness, and it’s literally life-threatening in the extreme.”
Gyllenhaal clarified that he was not the target of threats and was speaking about social media conversations more broadly.
“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.”