For years, fans have trolled Jake Gyllenhaal over Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well,” a song that many believe is about their whirlwind, three-month relationship back in 2010. When Swift released a re-recorded version of the track over a decade later in 2021, Gyllenhaal was making headlines yet again—and now, the actor is hitting back at the “cyberbullying” he faced from the singer’s fans.
The Nightcrawler star, 41, insisted that artists need to take “responsibility” for their fans on social media, noting that their behavior can get “unruly” at times. “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 told Esquire in a new profile published on February 17, 2022. “That begs for a deeper philosophical question.” While Gyllenhaal claimed that his comments were “not about any individual, per se,” he did suggest it’s “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.”
“We see that in politics. There’s anger and divisiveness, and it’s literally life-threatening in the extreme,” he continued. “My question is: Is this our future? Is anger and divisiveness our future? Or can we be empowered and empower others while simultaneously putting empathy and civility into the dominant conversation? That’s the discussion we should be having.”
While Gyllenhaal didn’t call Swift out directly, the reporter pressed him on how the negative media coverage following the re-release of her chart-topping song “All Too Well” impacted him. The track, which was included on Swift’s re-recorded version of Red, featured new verses that many fans speculate are about Gyllenhaal. Swift briefly dated the actor for a time in late 2010, going their separate ways by the start of the new year. At the time, Gyllenhaal was 29 and Taylor was only 20, making him 9 years older than the star.
In her 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” Taylor seemingly shaded their age difference, singing, “You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine/ And that made me want to die.” Later she adds, “I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age,” which many fans have since interpreted as another blow to Gyllenhaal. After all, the actor is currently dating a 26-year-old model, Jeanne Cadieu.
In his interview with Esquire, Gyllenhaal claimed that he doesn’t “begrudge” Swift for writing the song. “It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” Gyllenhaal said of the song, which originally dropped in 2012. “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.” Gyllenhaal went on to insist that he has not listened to the newly released version of the song, adding, “I’m not unaware that there’s interest in my life.”