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BBC 'slammed' for Taylor Swift coverage over Israel-Iran

Pro-Palestine activists 'slam' BBC for extensive Taylor Swift coverage over Israel strikes on Gaza, Iran
3 min read
20 April, 2024
Activists on social media have slammed the BBC for focusing on its extensive coverage of Taylor Swift over Israel's war on Gaza and strikes on Iran.
Taylor Swift has previously been criticised for failing to speak on Israel's war in Gaza [Getty/file photo]

A number of pro-Palestinian activists online have criticised major news organisations for "prioritising" reports about US singer Taylor Swift’s newly-released album over news of Israel’s war in Gaza and its recent strikes on Iran.

Broadcasters, notably the BBC, issued extensive coverage of the US pop star’s latest album release amid Israel continuing its bombardment of Gaza and its retaliatory attack on Iran and other neighbouring countries.

Many took to social media to slam the BBC for featuring headlines specific to Swift and her album on the news ticker at the bottom of the screen, while Israel’s strikes on Iraq and Syria were given secondary status.

One user pointed out that they received news notifications from the BBC on Swift's album before any related to Israel's strike on Iran. This strike was a response to the Iranian drone and missile strikes in Israel, which itself was an Iranian retaliation for the deadly Israeli bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Many described the coverage as "dystopian" and "something out of a fiction novel".

Another user said: "How’s a new album more important that war and genocide? This is so overwhelming and sad".

Explosions were heard in the city of Isfahan early on Friday, according to Iranian media, and were blamed on Tel Aviv. The strikes were condemned for further escalating tensions in the region, while a number of European and Arab countries called for restraint.

Additionally, Israel carried out a series of attacks on Gaza, with 37 deaths recorded overnight, raising the death toll to 34,049 killed in over six months of war in the enclave.

The singer-songwriter released her eleventh studio album titled "The Tortured Poets Department" on Friday, comprising 16 new songs, with an additional 15 songs included in anthology form. The album is the latest in Swift’s Grammy award-winning catalogue and broke several streaming records on its release day. 

The singer, who is set to embark on the European leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour next month, has been the centre of a number of controversies surrounding Israel’s military onslaught in Gaza.

Swift was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in December, but many activists felt that the accolade should have gone to Gaza's fearless journalists.

Additionally, the singer has been criticised for failing to use her platform and status to speak up for Gaza and the Palestinians.

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However, the singer did attend a comedy show headlined by Egyptian-American actor Ramy Youssef in December, where all the proceedings went to Anera, a foundation that aims to help people in the West Bank and Gaza.