Taylor Swift had an amazing time at the 2019 VMAs. She was nominated for approximately one million awards (okay, 12) and took home three Moon Men. But she also took the opportunity to draw attention to a serious issue. During one acceptance speech, Taylor Swift discussed Trump and her Equality Act petition. Specifically, she called out the Trump Administration for never responding to her petition — and a couple days later, the White House actually gave a response.
The Equality Act is a bill that would provide legal protection for LGBTQ people against discrimination in school, work, housing institutions, and other public places. The House of Representatives already passed the bill, but it still has to go through the Senate before it gets to President Trump.
As part of Taylor’s recent pivot to LGBTQ advocacy, she started a petition to draw attention to the act and to urge the Senate to support it. It now has over 500,000 signatures, which is way more than enough to prompt a response from the White House, as Taylor not-subtly-at-all pointed out at the VMAs. During her acceptance speech for Video of the Year, she called out the White House for not addressing the petition.
“I want to thank everyone who’s signed that petition because it now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” Taylor said before tapping an imaginary watch, like helloooo, what’s the hold-up, ya’ll?
Apparently, calling someone out during the VMAs is a great way to get them to act. Just a couple days later, White House spokesman Judd Deere finally gave a statement on the topic to USA Today.
“The Trump Administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights,” Deere said.
Poison pills? Hmm, this reply doesn’t sound very promising. Your move, Taylor!