Last year, the Grammy winner released a 10-minute version of her 2012 song “All Too Well” along with a video, both of which reignited a ton of speculation about the track’s lyrics, which are widely presumed to be about the singer-songwriter’s relationship with Gyllenhaal and their eventual breakup in 2011. The discourse sparked memes, an entire TikTok trend, and heaps of malice for the Nightcrawler and Brokeback Mountain actor from Swifties.
He stayed relatively silent about the situation for years, but Gyllenhaal has finally reacted to the fan hatred in a profile with Esquire.
“It has nothing to do with me,” he says. “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.”
Gyllenhaal also tells the magazine that the past few months have not been difficult for him, though he has turned off his Instagram comments. He also confirms that, no, he has not listened to Swift’s Red album, which features “All Too Well.”
“My life is wonderful,” he says. “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.”
The actor spoke more in broad terms when he said, “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. 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. How do we provoke a conversation?”
“My question is: Is this our future?” he asks. “Is anger and divisiveness our future? Or can we be empowered and empower others while simultaneously putting empathy and civility into the dominant conversation?”
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