After divulging her political opinions in an interview published in The Guardian on Sunday, a beloved pop and country star found herself at the center of a storm of internet outrage. In the story, which marks the launch of a brand new album tour, Shania Twain says she would have voted for Trump, if she was an American citizen.
"I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest," the Canadian singer told the news site. "Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullsh*t. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?"
Twitter, to say the least, was not having it. So wildly upset was the response that Twain apologized for her comments later that day. In a statement to People, Twain underscored that she was "passionately against discrimination of any kind."
The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context. I ... hope it’s clear from the choices I have made, and the people I stand with, that I do not hold any common moral beliefs with the current president.
She also added that her "answer was awkward" but said that it "certainly should not be taken as representative" of her values, and does not indicate that she endorses Trump.
Despite her quick attempt to take back what she said, Twitter users continued to lambast the singer well into the evening. Many said they felt betrayed, others said that she was dead to them.
"I wouldn't say I'm disappointed in Shania Twain because I don't have high expectations for most people in the first place (especially rich white women) but damn," wrote one user. "This blows."
Because Twitter is the way that it is, many were quick to play on her song lyrics, using her own words agains her. "Rocket scientists may not impress Shania Twain, but apparently white supremacists do," shot one user. "Dear Canada," wrote another user. "There are many things about you I admire and would like to indefinitely borrow. Maple syrup, Justin Trudeau, your healthcare. You can keep Shania Twain. She don’t impress me much."
Shania Twain trended on Twitter all day Sunday, beginning almost immediately after the interview's publication. Users made joke after joke at the singer's expense, but many sincerely lamented feeling like they lost a role model — or that Twain had picked a poor one of her own.
"Ugh.. embarrassed as a Canadian that @ShaniaTain would call Trump honest," said one user. "He is the political version of clickbait headlines. Trotting out big statements with little regard for consequences. I agree we should aim higher, but Trump isn't the role model for it."
"It's people like 'Shania Twain' who front like they care about LGBT issues, use us for fame and notoriety then turn around and support a bigot like Trump," said one user. "Smh. She's a woman still saying she will vote for Trump after all being this ignorance, yeah, you're terminated hun!"
After releasing her statement to People, Twain posted near-identical comments on Twitter, in a tweet thread. However, as of Sunday evening, that, too, was ill-received. "This is worse," one user said, simply.
"If this is your opinion own it, don't excuse it," another responded. "But don't be surprised that the people who are losing their health, their jobs, their education, their lives, their children's lives and their rights as Americans because of this man, come back at you. Simple."