- Jim Spellman/WireImage and Steve Granitz/WireImage
- “Chandelier” singer Sia was criticized by Taylor Swift fans for supporting Scooter Braun, the controversial entertainment executive who now owns the rights to much of Swift’s music.
- After Sia called Braun a “good kind man” and told him to “keep going,” Swift fans unearthed photos of Sia with black paint on her face, which many felt was a problematic display of blackface.
- Fans of Swift, who’s currently feuding with Braun, also said the Australian singer was canceled and calling her “a disappointment” for her support of Braun.
- The Australian singer subsequently defended herself on social media, saying the paint was just the result of her trying to paint herself into a black backdrop at an early show.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Sia has taken to Twitter to defend herself after Taylor Swift fans, who are angry at Sia’s support of controversial entertainment executive Scooter Braun, called out the Australian singer for wearing what they felt was blackface.
Swift fans quickly unearthed a photo of what appears to be Sia with black paint on her face – and immediately denounced the singer as a “racist,” saying the face paint was akin to blackface.
you expect us to trust your judge of character… pic.twitter.com/k4Z40Dg9lB
— nick! (@nicktendoswift) July 2, 2019
Really black face sis you’re soo Racist
— Alex Livingstone (@LPumhu) July 3, 2019
@Sia you're always on the wrong side of the history and that's how history will remember you as. You're a trash human being- an ignorant, a racist who practiced black face & a stabbing brute who ditches her own fellow artists. Glad to throw away all your songs from the playlist
— Michael Jackson Project (@mjchproject) July 3, 2019
Shortly after Swift fans began accusing her of wearing blackface, Sia defended herself on Twitter, saying the blackface paint was a “precursor” to her now-iconic wigs, and said she only painted herself black to blend in with a dark backdrop that was part of her costume.
For the swift fans trying to make out that I would ever do blackface please see this video. I was painting myself into the backdrop, it was a pre cursor to the wig… https://t.co/6St0hWl1k1
— sia (@Sia) July 2, 2019
Despite Sia’s response, the question of whether or not she knowingly wore blackface still polarized a lot of users.
Doesn’t matter if she painted her face black because she is or isn’t racist. That’s something we will ever know. The thing is, it’s 2019, and if you don’t know not to do black face by now I don’t know what to tell you.
— Lolo (@L0m41) July 3, 2019
You may be confused about what blackface is. It’s not just a white person having black on their face, it’s putting makeup on your face to impersonate a black person. She wanted to blend into a black wall. This is not blackface, you’re just mad and wanna stir shit. Grow up.
— fat queer anxiety party™️ (@chucktinglevevo) July 3, 2019
Many fans felt that regardless of intentions, wearing blackface paint was still offensive.
Girl… You posted your face COVERED IN BLACK PAINT! What isn't clicking. That is NOT ok. pic.twitter.com/N0sOjV5tLg
— BACKUP for @JerryToThisTay (@JerryT0ThisTay) July 2, 2019
You do not paint your face black, no matter what you call “art”. You could’ve done white instead. Regardless of your intentions, it was tasteless. Taylor Swift is an idiot, but this is just gross.
— Carolina ???? (@hellocarolina_) July 3, 2019
— Daisy ( Fan Account ) (@swiftcloudz) July 2, 2019
Ma’am. These are dangerously close. pic.twitter.com/l4uYQIMcKz
— ????Lisa???? (@soitgoessss) July 2, 2019
The blackface accusations arrived amid other criticism of Sia’s support of Braun in his current feud with Swift. On Monday, the Australian singer tweeted her support of Braun, calling him a “good kind man” and urging him to “keep going” despite his escalating, very public feud with the pop star.
You're a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly.
I love you keep going.
— sia (@Sia) July 2, 2019
Immediately after, Taylor Swift fans flooded Sia’s mentions, saying that the singer is canceled and calling her “disappointing.”
— ???????????????????? ???? (@_Lonereed_) July 2, 2019
“Keep going” ???? You’re literally encouraging this man to keep being awful to women and other artists???
I’m truly so disgusted. pic.twitter.com/tmKDCim2Kf
— Marley (@marleyharper) July 2, 2019
You can't spell disappointment without Sia!
— ???????????????????? ????????????????????????????????️???? (@dontmesswithAG) July 2, 2019
yikes just bc your experiences with a person were positive doesn’t mean they should be excused from any toxic behavior, i’m honestly surprised that ownership of art means so little to you that you think this is drama that should ‘just pass’
— Raphael Gomes (@raphablueberry) July 2, 2019
Fans also highlighted Sia’s own background as a songwriter, suggesting that her support of Braun was inappropriate.
Girl… you’re literally a songwriter. I thought of all people you would understand.
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) July 2, 2019
Im OMG SIA WFT YOU AS A SONGWRITER SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO STAND UP TO TAYLOR dammit people are disappointing
— NAT! LOVER / #WESTANDWITHTAYLOR (@nat1989swift) July 2, 2019
Sia is the latest celebrity to weigh in on the feud between Braun and Swift. Stars like Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato have publicly defended Braun, whereas Brendan Urie, Todrick Hall, and Halsey are some of the celebrities standing by Swift.
Swift and Braun’s feud has grown increasingly vitriolic in the last few days.
When Braun acquired Big Machine Records (the label Swift was signed to for most of her career) earlier this month, he also acquired the rights to Swift’s entire catalogue. Swift shared in a Tumblr post on June 30 that she was “sad and grossed out” by the turn of events.
After current Big Machine head Scott Borchetta said that Swift had the chance to buy back her masters, Swift’s attorney released a statement Tuesday saying that wasn’t the case.
“Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others,” her lawyer said.
- Read more:
- Fans are furious that Scooter Braun posted that he ‘bought’ Taylor Swift, and the pop star has been quietly liking their angry posts
- Talent manager Scooter Braun is in a very public feud with Taylor Swift. Here are 30 of his biggest clients.
- Justin Bieber slams Taylor Swift for accusing his longtime manager Scooter Braun of ‘manipulative bullying’
- Taylor Swift is battling Scooter Braun over the ownership of her old music. Here’s everything you need to know about the powerful music manager.