WOMEN'S magazine Marie Claire has been accused of "bullying" Taylor Swift over her decision to keep her political views to herself.
The pop star, who this month released her sixth studio album Reputation, has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for her conspicuous silence on issues of politics - unlike most other celebrities - leading to speculation she is a closet supporter of US President Donald Trump.
Last month, Swift's lawyers threatened to sue a blogger for online magazine PopFront over an article which suggested the 27-year-old was "an icon of white supremacist, nationalists and other fringe groups" and described her relative political silence as a "subtle encouragement" of the far right.
Marie Claire writer Kayleigh Roberts, in an article titled "5 Things Taylor Swift *Should* Have Addressed on 'Reputation' but Didn't", listed her number one issue as "her decision to remain apolitical during the 2016 election".
"If Taylor thinks that her public fallout with Kimye was the most damning public relations nightmare she endured last year, then she should probably expand her news diet," she wrote.
"Fall of 2016 saw a slew of celebrities become outspokenly involved in the political process, as they should have. Taylor did post on Instagram about the fact that she was voting ... And sure, some people interpreted her sweater as confirmation that she was casting a vote for Hillary Clinton ... but was it really enough?
"Taylor is not required to be vocal about her politics (obviously, every American has the right to keep their vote private), but it's also fair to side-eye and question her decision to remain silent - and said silence certainly contributed to her rep."
Roberts added that "whether she likes it or not", the pop star's politics "or her perceived political apathy ... are a part of her reputation, and a song addressing or at least acknowledging that (even if the song did not address her personal politics) would have been welcome".
It was the wording of the accompanying tweet, however, which rubbed many the wrong way. "We're still waiting for an explanation of Taylor Swift's decision to remain apolitical during the 2016 election," Marie Claire wrote.
Twitter user James Hunnel replied, "She owes you nothing. Taylor is an entertainer, not a [politician]. I find it rather refreshing that an entertainer doesn't comment on politics. Makes me wanna buy her music."
Lindsey Appiah asked why, as a singer, Swift was required to be political. "And why does she owe anyone an explanation for her choice? We need to be careful to not create witchhunts," she wrote.
Paige Rogers added, "I'm still waiting on an explanation of why @marieclaire will bully celebrities to ensure that nothing and no one is ever able to be apolitical."
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