The Aftermath of Hiddleswift
Swifties, don’t even bother.
Let me begin by saying that I don’t give a fuck about Taylor Swift. I like some of her music, I roll my eyes at her gym pictures and her #squad, and as far as I’m concerned, she’s only doing what she’s been doing for years now: using a very publicized fake romance for ulterior motives. Nothing new there. I hope someday she can find someone and have something real, because all the money and trophies in the world can be very cold if you’re not happy in your heart.
When it comes to Tom Hiddleston, however, you might have guessed that I do have some more expansive thoughts.
First – everything that some of the more enlightened in the fandom (yes, I include myself in that group) said would happen, actually happened. She does 90 day contracts? Boom, things ended at roughly 90 days, since most of us don’t know what day the contract was actually signed. She’s throwing him under the bus? Yep, the narrative of him using her for fame is out there, big time. Now, he DID actually use her for fame, because there is no doubt of that. Sorry, but there is no doubt of that.
THERE IS NO DOUBT OF THAT.
And that was the biggest shock that most of us felt when we saw those Rhode Island pics and the subsequent, cringe-worthy, repulsive displays that turned Tom Hiddleston from Bae to Barf. The shock was that out of all the up-and-coming actors that might do something like this, Tom was way down at the list. Like, way down. We could not imagine our earnest, silly, hardworking, private Tom agreeing to be arm candy for a greedy, lawsuit happy, tween fashionista mean girl like Taylor.
It was like three thousand times the shock of seeing Henry Cavill grocery shopping with Kaley Cuoco.
The second biggest shock was the timing – Tom was at the top of his game in May, the highest public profile he’d ever had thanks to The Night Manager, rumors of being cast as James Bond, the upcoming Ragnarok movie. He’d been building, slowly and steadily, a solid CV full of work that showcased his versatility and proved he had the chops to take on comic book villains and American music legends, morose vampires and contemporary spies, and excel at all of them.
THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THIS.
Tom and Taylor met – allegedly – at Anna Wintour’s dinner before the Met Ball. They’re seen saying goodbye as they leave and saying things like ‘nice to meet you’. I fully believe that the dancing video from the Ball was the test before the contract, testing the waters to see if the public would accept the odd pairing. The public thought it was cute for what it was and the contract was on.
I wonder if Tom, finding out about his Emmy nomination – his highest profile award nomination to date – thought, ‘fuck, I didn’t need to sign this shit’ but at that point it was too late. He’d agreed to hold hands and kiss in public with Taylor, and he had long weeks ahead.
THE TURNING POINT
Many fans, myself included, point to the beach walks by Tom’s mom’s house as the moment they became grossed out by this. It’s one thing to degrade himself by being One More Notch on Taylor’s sparkly pink belt, but to bring out his mother, who had been seen in public a handful of times? What was that conversation like, I wonder? “Mum, I know I’ve always come here to hide out from the world and I’ve always kept you and the family private, but I’m prostituting myself out with Taylor Swift to make my name bigger in the US, would you very much mind joining us for a pre-planned, pap-filled walk in which you have to put your arms around both me and my fake girlfriend and smile like you are not thoroughly disgusted by your son’s famewhoring ways?”
Then came the walk with the little niece. The one the entire fandom awwwww’d at when he revealed she called him “Uncle Yay Monster”. Anything was fair game for Tom, then, selling out his mother, his niece. He prized fame more than the dignity and privacy of his nearest and dearest.
For the niece, however, I also blame the child’s mother, because I don’t care how much my actor brother begs and whines, there is no fucking way on this fucking earth I am joining him and his girlfriend out in public or letting my little child be used as a fucking prop as other fake boyfriends’ small relatives have been used before. Fuck you, Sarah Hiddleston. I hope Tom has paid for your child’s education, at least, if you chose to pimp out your daughter like that.
I also wonder how Tom and his mum have been getting along since. Has the shine dulled for her, too? Does she see him differently now? Does she wonder at ulterior motives every time he starts a conversation? What about his father, the man who never wanted Tom to be an actor because he had a good education, the man who wanted Tom to be “his own man” – what did HE think when he saw pictures of his son frolicking with the squad on Fourth of July, wearing a tank top emblazoned with I HEART TS and an arm tattoo to match? Was this just about every nightmare scenario Papa Hiddleston had envisioned? His son discarding education and hard work to whore himself for fame?
This was exactly the disappointment we felt every time a new set of carefully curated and staged pictures was released – we had considered Tom to be someone with integrity in a sea of mediocre, fame hungry Casualty and Home and Away alumni, above the masses of actors who would go from party to party ready to stick their heads in the frame for a shot of them with someone famous, having more dignity than the thousands perpetually seeking photo ops with A-Listers.
And suddenly there he was, doing things that were so out of character for him like going to a Selena Gomez concert, standing just in the right spot so that the paparazzi in Rome could capture his pic mashing lips with Taylor, when standing five feet either way would have concealed them from view. And he knew it, too, all those pics with the crazy eyed look of a person trapped in a hell of his own doing while the boss holding his hand smirks away.
While Taylor has had a pretty shitty summer with Kimye and press everywhere rolling their eyes at her latest stunt, I fully believe she will be just fine. In a few weeks there will be a new The One, a new album, a new set of squad pics and she will go on.
As much damage as Taylor’s image took this summer, it is Tom who has sustained far more critical hits, and continues to take punches because as we all know, the break up is only the set up for the next album, the starting point for the continuation of the theme of The Innocent, Saintly Girl who keeps falling for Users and Manipulators, Players and Heartbreakers. And then turns around and makes money off them.
WHAT SHOULD TOM DO NOW?
Never, ever, EVER do something like this again – some think that the paparazzi shots of him and Elizabeth Olsen were his previous failed attempt at publicity via romance. Do not tarnish your personal life with your quest for A-List status. You were on your way just a few months ago.
Do as you once said and focus on the work. And by work I also mean everything that comes out of your fucking mouth, Tom. Don’t lie during interviews about how busy you are and how you have to get back to filming right away and then linger around for days doing nothing but going out to dinner and posing for pap walks. Your credibility has taken a huge hit and people will gauge your level of penitence every time you say something. Continue to lie and you will take that much longer to get your fans’ goodwill back, not to mention studios will start to question your work ethic.
Theater would be brilliant. You have always excelled when you’ve done stage work, get back to it. Ideally Shakespeare. Iago would be great, an all out villain. Speaking of villains, why not turn your sights on playing a Bond villain? If Craig goes for two more Bond films, your role can be revitalizing during his tenure; if it’s a new guy playing Bond, then the film is yours for the taking.
Go away. I mean that in the nicest way. Don’t do any more photoshoots or interviews, that last one was painful with the weird white underwear and the cheap production feel. Every article written about you in the next year or two will probably invoke Taylor. She will probably be brought up during the Ragnarok press tour, if not by the interviewer then by your castmates. I’m looking at you, RDJ.
You know what? You deserve it, Tom.
You deserve it for muddying what was a bright, crystal clear trajectory, for splintering what was a solid reputation, and for your sheer stupidity and that of your team. Speaking of, fire Luke. Right now. Stop reading and go fire him. I know he’s your friend, I know he’s been with you since the beginning, but Luke Windsor has proved that he cannot be relied on to do the necessary due diligence before damning his client to a PR nightmare, and that he doesn’t have the chops, balls, cojones, guts, whatever you want to call it, to fight a PR battle and save one of his most high profile clients from complete humiliation in the worldwide press.
Even if you chose this and Luke was against it – which many state but I disagree with, I believe this was 100% PR driven – he was still your PR. His JOB is to make you look good. For every story Taylor’s PR put out there, there should have been a counter from your camp. And there wasn’t. And still isn’t. Luke Windsor is simply not up to the task. He let you burn.
Speaking of burn, please take care of your skin. Between all the Majorca and Egypt locations you’ve been doing and your slowly receding hairline, you’ve aged roughly twenty years in the last three months.
AS FOR THE FANDOM
The haters and bullies have always been haters and bullies. CuntWinchester and WhoraSalami are two of the worst human beings in this fandom, and that comes from me, who regularly staged vivisections on bad fic writers. Those two are iconic for their hatred and guess what, they were assholes before this happened, too! They will continue to be mediocre assholes after as well.
Milquetoasts like CatedeValois, who never say anything controversial because Lord forbid they have an opinion? Yep, she was the same before. She will be the same after.
I had just started to read a Dom!Tom series when this mess started and honestly, the thought of Tom Hiddleston – you know, the one in the I Heart TS tank top, the one holding hands with Taylor while she held hands with one of the squad, the one being led around like a dog all summer – as a Dominant simply made me laugh. The man proved that this summer at least, he had neither the self-respect, nor the dignity or strength to be his own man, let alone be a proper Dominant for someone else. The thought of Tom Hiddleston being a man is still iffy right now.
As for those waving the jealousy card, go fuck yourselves. I’d love for Tom to be with someone like Hayley Atwell or Jessica Chastain or Elizabeth Debicki. They seem like nice women with real talent. The first two, at least, have carried on long term relationships without any public bullshit. They haven’t made a career out of mutilating others in uber public ways. Maybe jealousy is the way you make every choice in your lives, but it sure isn’t mine, and it sure isn’t the way of many in this fandom. It wasn’t jealousy. It was shock. Disgust. Nausea. Sadness. Many things except jealousy.
I will be watching how the rest of the year goes for Tom, how he conducts himself, how the press treats him. He can get back to where he was in May – hell, he can be the A-Lister, Oscar winning, beloved thespian he aims to be. I believe he has it in him. But only if he tamps down his thirst for quick fame. It nearly ruined him this summer, let’s hope he has learned his lesson.