Olivia Wilde’s Take On Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce Incited Outrage

If only Harry Styles’ other ex could find “love with a climate scientist.”

Olivia Wilde's Taylor Swift relationship comments sparked a divided reaction.
James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images; Cooper Neill/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Despite having a mutual ex, Olivia Wilde is questioning Taylor Swift’s relationship choices — sort of. At the very least, Wilde (along with the rest of the country) has witnessed how the nonstop attention on Swift’s rumored romance with Travis Kelce has put a spotlight on the NFL for a whole new demographic. As Wilde seems to see it, though, the “Cruel Summer” singer could use the mega power of her celebrity for a more deserving cause.

Without adding any commentary, the Don’t Worry Darling director reposted to her Instagram stories an Oct. 5 tweet from Westworld alum Katja Herbers that read: “I wish Taylor Swift was in love with a climate scientist.”

Herbers, who doubles as a climate activist, elaborated in follow-up posts on X (formerly Twitter) that she imagined Swifties “hurriedly googling ‘climate emergency’” and the profound effect that might have in raising awareness. “Taylor would join her scientist at an end fossil fuels rally and the world would be saved,” she added.

Indeed, numbers continue to back up the so-called “Taylor Swift Effect.” After making a surprise appearance at the Kansas City Chiefs’ home game on Sept. 24, not only did items from Swift’s outfit quickly sell out, but Kelce’s jersey sales reportedly spiked nearly 400%.

When she brought an A-list entourage — including Sophie Turner, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Hugh Jackman — to a second game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the following week, an average of 27 million viewers tuned into NBC and Peacock, marking the most-watched Sunday program since the Super Bowl, with female viewership jumping by more than 35%.

So, even though some speculated that Wilde’s post shaded Swift, the tweet’s author pushed back on those claims. “This wasn’t about bashing anyone,” Herbers clarified on Oct. 7. “It was about how the media cares more about Taylor Swift[’]s new boyfriend than the Climate Emergency we are in and if only there were a way to solve that…”

A majority of social media users did seem to assume that Wilde was joking. “I don’t think she’s [criticizing] Taylor, I think she’s pointing out the attention we’re suddenly giving football and how great it would be if we channeled all that energy towards the climate crisis,” one person wrote.

However, Wilde still faced backlash, mostly because they both dated Harry Styles. (Swift and the British pop star were in a relationship more than a decade ago; Wilde and Styles reportedly ended their two-year relationship in November 2022.) Some pointed out that the Babylon actor traveled the globe on multiple vacations and press tours, presumably on private jets, making her Instagram post seem “hypocritical.”

One commenter noted that though she may have a point, Wilde was the “wrong messenger,” adding, “I dont remember harry styles restoring the ozone when they were dating.”