'There's a Special Place In Hell...': A Timeline of Tina Fey and Taylor Swift
Tina Fey resurrected her back-and-forth with Taylor Swift for the fourth consecutive year, with a musical spoof set to air during Great News on Thursday (Oct. 5). Fey took the video, originally about another pop feud between Swift and Katy Perry, and reworked it for the show.
The "feud" all started a few years ago during a quick joke Fey made while hosting the Golden Globes. Only two months later, it escalated when Swift first began to fight back against the media (and perhaps by implication, Fey specifically) for regularly putting her not-so-abnormal dating life being under heavy scrutiny.
As Fey continues to stretch new material out of the maybe-conflict, Billboard has compiled a timeline of its crucial moments.
Please Don’t Date Michael J Fox’s Son -- 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Jan. 13 2013
During the 2013 Golden Globes, Fey began to joke about Taylor Swift’s love life, a subject which was then a much hotter topic. Swift had recently broken things off with Conor Kennedy, and prior to that, One Directioner Harry Styles.
Fey -- in a style she later referred to as “crazy aunt” -- warned Swift to stay away from Sam Michael Fox in her pursuit for a new beau. “You know what Taylor Swift? You stay away from Michael J Fox’s son,” said Fey. “Or go for it,” Poehler replied. “No, she needs some me-time to learn about herself,” Fey suggested before going on to introduce the next celebrity.
“There’s a Special Place in Hell…” - Vanity Fair April Cover Story Preview, March 5 2013
Swift began her habit of shutting down sexist jokes and claims during her cover story for Vanity Fair, when she responded to the now two-month-old joke. “You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people,” Swift began her reply. “Because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’” The quote was later credited to Madeleine Albright.
Swift continued to call out those who criticized her dating life. “For a female to write about her feelings, and then be portrayed as some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend in need of making you marry her and have kids with her, I think that’s taking something that potentially should be celebrated -- a woman writing about her feelings in a confessional way -- that’s taking it and turning it and twisting it into something that is frankly a little sexist.”
Poehler Responds to Swift - March 5 2013
Later in the day, Poehler talked to THR.com and reacted to Swift’s VF response. “Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff.”
Fey Responds to Swift - March 5 2013
Shortly after Poehler’s response, Fey spoke to Entertainment Tonight about her reaction. "If anyone was going to get mad at us, I thought it would be James Cameron," Fey said. "I did not see that one coming. It was a joke. It was a lighthearted joke. And it's a shame that she didn't take it in the crazy-aunt spirit in which it was intended."
Fey Still Can’t Let it Go -- 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, Jan. 12 2014
Tina Fey made sure to bring the joke back when hosting the Globes again the following year. When Amy Poehler won Best Actress in a TV Comedy for her work on Parks and Recreation, her cohost Tina Fey was quick to bring the previous year’s feud with Swift back up: “I love you, and there’s a special place in hell for you!” Fey exclaimed as they returned to hosting later on.
Fey Throws Shade Through Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - April 2016
Fey enlisted Tituss Burgess’ character Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to keep Swift's quote from fading into distant public memory. Kimmy stands up to Titus after he refuses to move his Barbie dolls from the shower because their perms are processing, which leads to Titus stating, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
Baby, Now We’ve Still Got Bad Blood: Music Video Spoof - Oct. 4 2017
On Thursday night’s (Oct. 5) episode of NBC sitcom Great News, Fey teams up with Nicole Richie for a “Bad Blood” music video spoof. Richie’s character Portia Scott-Griffith declares a squad feud on Fey’s character, “boardroom bitch” Diana St. Tropez. Portia then sings lyrics mirroring Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish,” “I’ve had enough of your ish, bish/ I’m a famous and rich bish/ So you better watch dis, bish.” At the end of the clip, St. Tropez is revealed to have been watching the video on her computer. “Not today,” St. Tropez says. Is this possibly a reference to Bianca Del Rio’s famous quote-turned-meme, “Not today, Satan, not today,” connecting this all back to that special place in hell? You decide.