When Taylor Swift released the extended version of “All Too Well” on the Red album release, which was believed to be inspired by her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, all hell broke loose.
The former couple dated for three months between 2010 and 2011. She was 20 years old at the start of the relationship, and Gyllenhaal was 29.
Last year on Nov. 12, the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” and its accompanying short film stirred new outrage over the romance, with most (if not all) of the heat directed at Gyllenhaal.
In the updated song, Taylor referenced their age gap, alleging her ex had told her: “If we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine,” which made her “want to die.”
And, poking at Gyllenhaal’s current relationship also added: “I was never good at telling jokes / But the punchline goes / ‘I’ll get older, but your lovers will stay my age.'”
Taylor’s fans then took this to be about Jake, now 41, whose girlfriends after Taylor had also been in their early 20s. His current partner, Jeanne Cadieu, was 23 when they started dating.
Taylor also released a short film in addition to the track, starring 19-year-old Sadie Sink and 30-year-old Dylan O’Brien as lovers.
Jake eventually turned off comments on his Instagram posts due to Taylor fans storming his social media with hate for breaking Taylor’s heart as well as criticizing the ex-couple’s age gap.
While the actor did not publicly respond to the “All Too Well” commotion at the time, a source revealed that he did admit to having “no interest” in the reaction.
“He doesn’t read gossip or pay any attention to that,” the insider added. “He’s living his life and focused on himself. He’s ignoring all of the noise.”
But now, it seems Jake is finally ready to address the album. In an interview with Esquire just last week — he claimed that he hadn’t listened to it.
However, when asked about the attention that the song garnered, Jake urged that he didn’t “begrudge” Taylor for using her personal experiences in her songs.
However, he later appeared to call denounce Taylor’s relationship with her fans and how she allowed them to verbally abuse people in their names.
“It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” Jake said of Red. “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
“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,” he 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,” Jake went on. “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.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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