Taylor Swift Rep's Excuse for Private Jet Drama Sparks Viral Memes

Taylor Swift has become the target of a host of tweets and memes after her spokesperson's response to a report naming her the biggest celebrity polluter because of use of her private jet.

Last Friday, British digital marketing firm Yard released a study based on an analysis of private plane flights tracked by automated flight tracker Celebrity Jets. It found that Swift topped a list of celebrities, with 170 flights emitting 8,293 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

The list's study placed the singer ahead of a host of mega-wealthy celebrities, including Floyd Mayweather (177 flights; 7,076 tons of carbon dioxide), Jay-Z (136; 6981), Alex Rodriguez (106; 5,342) and Blake Shelton (111; 4,495).

Also making the top 10 of celebrities were Kim Kardashian at seventh place, followed by Mark Wahlberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Travis Scott.

Taylor Swift
A Taylor Swift spokesperson's statement on her private jet's use has sparked a host of viral jokes and memes. Above, Swift performs onstage during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on October 30, 2021, with an inset image of a private jet. iStock / Getty Images

The study was sparked by a photo Kylie Jenner recently uploaded to Instagram, showing herself and her partner, Travis Scott, posing before their respective private jets.

Captioning the image, Jenner wrote, "You wanna take mine or yours?"—sparking immediate social media backlash over the display of conspicuous consumption. Still, the study placed Jenner at 19th on its celebrity list, with Swift coming out on top.

A Swift representative responded to the study by saying the frequent use of the star's Falcon 7X jet—one of two private plans said to be owned by Swift—was caused by other people flying on the aircraft.

"Taylor's jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals," the Swift spokesperson told Newsweek. "To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect."

The spokesperson's response to the report has sparked a host of viral tweets ribbing the star for her use of what is widely seen as a symbol of privilege and wealth.

In reaction to the statement, one person on Twitter wrote: "you've really gotta hand it to taylor swift's publicist bc 'she generously rents out her jet for her poorer friends who can't afford their own personal jets to use' is the funniest possible way to put a humanitarian spin on her carbon emissions."

The person added: "i'd like to see more celebrities go this route. the next drag race winner should get a $100,000 cash prize and an acre of frackable land in wyoming."

Also going the tongue-in-cheek route, another wrote: "@TaylorSwift13 announces NEW album titled 'Carbon Footprint:- A Long Private Jet Journey' dropping at midnight. The lead single 'Emission' is out now."

In another tweet, the caption read: "taylor swift gives her first public statement on environmental affairs since her private jet use came into question."

While Swift was seen in the video, those who pressed Play got the audio of erstwhile British reality TV star Bonnie Holt saying that global warming is "really good, because it warms up the world and it gives us all tans and it makes us all hot."

Another commented that they were "streaming Taylor Swift to help her pay for her jet fuel," while one social media user joked: "Taylor Swift just broke into my home and replaced all my paper straws with plastic and said "burn b**ch" before leaving off on her jet."

Meanwhile, another shared a computer-generated video of a man sitting on aircraft engine midflight as one of Swift's hits served as the soundtrack.

The accompanying caption read: "taylor swift listening to 'all too well' on her private jet."

In a 2020 interview with Variety, Swift said that "young people are the people who feel the worst effects of gun violence, and student loans and trying to figure out how to start their lives and how to pay their bills, and climate change, and are we going to war—all these horrific situations that we find ourselves facing right now."

Yard assembled statistics for the report from Celebrity Jets, a Twitter account that tracks the private jet travels of celebrities, with data going back to the start of the year and covering the number of flights taken by each celebrity, average flight time, miles and greenhouse gas emissions.

Rolling Stone said that the flight data attributed to Jay-Z is actually linked to the Puma Jet, a Gulfstream GV that the rapper and entrepreneur is reported to have convinced the sportswear giant to purchase for use by its endorsed athletes. Jay-Z, whose real name Shawn Carter, serves as Puma's creative director.

While Jay-Z, who is married to Beyoncé, is not the sole person using the Puma Jet, a Yard representative said: "We attributed the jet to Jay-Z on this occasion because he requested the Puma jet as part of his sign-up deal to become the creative director of Puma basketball.

"The Puma jet's tail numbers are N444SC at Jay-Z's request. N, the standard U.S. private jet registration code, 444, referring to his album of the same name and SC for his birth name, Shawn Carter. Without Jay-Z, this jet would cease to exist," the representative said.

Rolling Stone said it's impossible to determine if the other celebrities named in the top 10 were actually on board for every trip taken by their respective private jets.

For his part, rapper Drake responded to criticism that his jet had taken multiple minutes-long flights. He said on Instagram: "This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics...nobody takes that flight."