John Mayer is speaking out amid growing criticism from Taylor Swift fans regarding their rumored tumultuous relationship. The "Say What You Need to Say" singer found himself facing the scorn of Swift's fans after he joined the social media platform TikTok on Monday, with the comments section on his first post overflowing with backlash.
In his first video shared to the app, the 43-year-old musician could be seen trying to figure out how to flip the camera on his phone. The video quickly racked up thousands of comments, many from Swifites, with one person writing, "Taylor would know how to flip a camera" and another adding, "We will never forget what you did to our girl Taylor." Somebody else chimed in with, "the fact that you’re struggling so much proves that nineteen was too young," a not so subtle reference to the age gap in his rumored relationship with Swift as well as her song "Dear John," which many other commenters quoted. Several people, meanwhile, said they expected the backlash even before they opened the comments section on the video, with one person writing, "you're not safe here john."
Just hours later, Mayer returned to the platform with a subtle response to the backlash. In his second-ever TikTok video, he nodded in agreement. He captioned the clip, "POV: You're berating me and I'm hearing you out." That video, too, received just as much backlash, with comments like "old man victim complex" and "POV: a man right before he gaslights you" pouring in.
In a third video, Mayer sang along to a song with lyrics, "That was a weird day. That was a real weird." He captioned the clip, "Goodnight new friends." In the comments on the post, one person pointed to his TikTok bio, which reads, "it's a long story," asking if he "would say it’s a long story short," a reference to "Long Story Short," a track on Swift's latest album, evermore.
Swift and Mayer were rumored to have dated in 2009 and 2010, when he was 32 and she was 19. The couple never officially confirmed their relationship, though many Swifties believe that her experiences in the relationship were the inspiration for her song "Dear John" from her 2010 album Speak Now. That song includes lyrics like "Don't you think 19 is too young / To be played by your dark twisted games, when I loved you so?" While both musicians have refrained from addressing their rumored romance, Mayer in 2015 addressed the alleged hospitality, stating during an interview with MSNBC, "Now I can just go, 'Look, I can say the name Taylor Swift.' She’s an artist. I'm an artist. Everybody stop, nobody's got cancer. We're rich people who get to live out our dreams. Let's just stop it. I'm a musician who's bigger than one song or one record."