Be honest. As celebrity after celebrity expressed their public support for Taylor Swift during her recent controversy with celebrity manager Scooter Braun over ownership of her masters, did you wonder why Ed Sheeran's name was absent from the list? Did a flicker of doubt about his membership in the Swift Squad cross your mind?
You’re not alone. Swift’s fans were certainly skeptical why her friend, two-time collaborator, and annual July 4th party attendee hadn’t joined the ranks of celebrities like Cara Delevigne, Halsey, Shawn Mendes, Haim, Panic! at the Disco's Brandon Urie, and Todrick Hall in publicly backing Swift.
Given the artists' long friendship, fans were disappointed in Sheeran’s silence. “Where the f*** is Ed Sheeran where you need him?” one fan tweeted. Fans also spammed his Instagram posts with comments like: “Ed please check on Taylor!” and “Taylor needs you.”
Amid this cacophony of Sheeran scolding, one lone fan spoke up in support of the English singer. In a comment on Sheeran's Instagram, user Martina Malcotti basically told fans to back off, reminding them at Sheeran and Swift are real-life fans and don't have to communicate on social media. "You aren’t allowed to doubt their friendship just because he didn’t say anything on the social," she wrote. "...Maybe he's the one who supported her the most, because they’re best friends and he didn’t waste time writing on Instagram what he could have said directly to her.”
Sheeran must’ve been like, “Hell yes, Marina!” because he chose to comment on her comment, responding, “I have been speaking to her directly, like I always do.”
So, Sheeran is, indeed, being a supportive friend to friend. But some fans continue to be disappointed in his decision to stay out of the public eye, connecting the Swift/Braun drama with a broader need for men to publicly support women in situations like this. "Men need to realize that sometimes we NEED to speak up publicly when women are being attacked like this," one fan wrote.
Likely, the situation between Swift and the many Scotts (Scott Swift, her dad; Scott Borchetta, founder of Big Machine Records; Scott "Scooter" Braun, her alleged nemesis) will only become even more complicated until more details are revealed.
Here's what we know for sure: There's one very juicy text thread between Swift and Sheeran, and we'll never get to read it.