Netflix’s buzzy new show Ginny & Georgia has earned… mixed reviews from prominent culture publications, to put it mildly. But the teen dramedy doomed itself when it made a joke about Taylor Swift that fans interpreted as misogynistic, and they responded by review-bombing the show by the thousands.
The contentious line appears in the Ginny & Georgia season 1 finale, “The Worst Betrayal Since Jordyn and Kylie.” Ginny is having an argument with her mother, Georgia, and snaps, “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.”
The line is based off an old stereotype that Swift is a reckless serial dater since some of her early hits were inspired by her high-profile exes. It’s misogynistic because it assumes that 1) women can only make good art in relation to the men in their lives, and 2) Swift writing about her relationships is in any way unique when in reality, countless male artists get praised for doing the exact same thing.
It’s also a woefully outdated joke that’s been kicking around for over a decade—the “How do you do, fellow kids?” of pop culture references. If the writers of Ginny & Georgia actually listened to Swift’s discography, they’d realize that many of the songs from her last four albums explore the joy and security that love provides—a fitting topic, considering she’s been dating Joe Alwyn since 2017.
Swifties raked Ginny & Georgia over the coals for the joke and pointed to other TV shows that referenced the singer with more tact and humor. Hundreds of thousands of tweets contained the all-caps exhortation “RESPECT TAYLOR SWIFT.”
Swifties have also flooded Ginny & Georgia with thousands of negative reviews. At the time of this writing, it’s averaging 1.6 out of 5 stars on Google, a 10% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 0.5 out of 5 user score on Metacritic.
“It is astounding to me that in 2021, shows are still using Taylor Swift’s dating life as a punchline,” begins a one-star Google review submitted six hours ago. “I would expect so much more from FEMALE writers with FEMALE leads of a show than lazy, misogynistic, sexist writing.”
Swift—who released her 2020 documentary Miss Americana as a Netflix exclusive—also responded to the joke on Twitter this morning.
“Hey Ginny & Georgia, 2010 called and it wants its lazy, deeply sexist joke back,” she wrote. “How about we stop degrading hard working women by defining this horse shit as FuNnY. Also, @netflix after Miss Americana this outfit doesn’t look cute on you. Happy Women’s History Month I guess.”
Netflix has yet to publicly respond to the backlash, but Swifties are continuing to apply pressure by ratioing the company’s latest tweet into oblivion.