This is hardly a traditional year for award ceremonies, and unsurprisingly, Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn opted to not attend the MTV VMAs in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Swift instead recorded her acceptance speech for Best Direction from home, thanking the industry for voting for her video “The Man” and thanking her fans for their support of her new project folklore. She dressed casually in a striped blue top.
“I was told this was an industry-voted award, so I want to say thank you to everyone in the industry who voted for this video but I also want to really thank the fans because you are the only reason why this industry even cares about anything I do,” she said. “And everything you guys have done with folklore this summer, I’m just so blown away and taken aback by your generosity to me so thank you for everything. I hope I get to see you soon.”
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Swift is up for one of the night’s biggest awards: Video of the Year for her music video for “The Man,” which explored white male privilege and the U.S.’s imbalanced gender dynamics. She additionally has nominations for Best Pop Song (“Lover”), Video for Good (“The Man”), and Best Art Direction (“Lover,” art directed by Ethan Tobman).
Swift has been busy during the pandemic: She released her surprise eighth album folklore last month, so it will be eligible for MTV VMA awards next year.
Otherwise, Swift she’s been quarantining with her British boyfriend Joe Alwyn. E! reported the couple went on a trip to Utah in early August before traveling to Los Angeles, where Swift has a house. A source told E!, “Taylor has been based in Nashville, but she just went to Park City, Utah for a few days with Joe. They’re back in L.A.”
Alwyn shared a photo from that trip—one Swift presumably took—on his Instagram.
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Swift wrote that folklore is a blend of stories from her real life and fictional characters and events. “A tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around,” she wrote in her note about the album. “Sometimes even sung about. The lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible. Speculation, over time, becomes fact. Myths, ghost stories, and fables. Fairytales and parables. Gossip and legend. Someone’s secrets written in the sky for all to behold.”
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