Taylor Swift's decision to endorse Tennessee Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper during the 2018 midterms marked the first time the singer had gotten boldly political. The decision itself, however, was not taken lightly, and in the upcoming Netflix documentary Miss America, filmmaker Lana Wilson takes viewers into the decision room when Swift first told her team and family that she was going to speak out. While music execs urged her to keep quiet from a PR standpoint, it was her father, Scott Swift, who was the most terrified by her choice.
“I need to be on the right side of history,” Swift says of her Instagram statement to oppose Marsha Blackburn in the doc, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night, later telling the camera, "I feel really good about not feeling muzzled anymore, and it was my own doing."
On stage at Sundance, Swift gave some context to her father's comments.
“My dad has always just been terrified about my safety since I was a kid, the fact that my job entails standing on a stage and there’s so many threats we get on a daily basis that nobody ever knows about and we just try to keep that stuff under wraps as much as possible, but my Dad is the one who has to see it," she explained, according to Deadline. "And so for him it was all about ‘What could happen to you if you say this? If you say this, is my daughter in danger? Is this the moment that I should have stopped it from happening?'”
However, she says it was her own personal experiences, including the 2013 incident when she was groped by radio host David Mueller, which inspired her to go public. In 2017, he was ordered to pay Swift a symbolic $1 after the jury sided with the singer on her countersuit.
“Our political opinions and our opinions are defined by what happens to us in our life," she continued on stage. "So that was one of those things that happened to me in my life, and then seeing what was happening in my home state, and it all culminating with having a conversation with people who’ve been so wonderfully supportive of me throughout my entire career, feeling so afraid for my safety. And so it’s a really real moment to watch that."
Miss Americana lands on Netflix January 31.