Social media has filled our previously content-lacking lives with all sorts of gifts—naked selfies, accessible platforms for previously unheard voices, and the ability to retweet one’s own tweet. But of all these blessings, there is no greater gift than an honest celebrity taking over their own Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook/Snapchat.
In 2016, anyone with a verified account would be wise to delegate their social media duties—just ask Good Morning America about tea lizard. Calvin Harris is the latest star to fall victim to this social media transparency trap, proving once and for all that Calvin Harris—not Tom Hiddleston, cultural irrelevancy, or an overt lack of musical talent—is his own worst enemy.
In case you missed it, the 32-year-old Harris was once the triple threat of fake talents: DJ, Armani Underwear Model, and Taylor Swift boyfriend. Harris was living the life most deeply mediocre white boys with six-packs can only dream of. But all that came to an end when, after 15 months of standing next to each other in Instagram photos, Swift and Harris publicly announced that they would no longer be standing next to each other in Instagram photos.
Just two weeks after Harris lost his lucrative relationship gig, Swift was spotted making out on a bunch of Rhode Island rocks with actor Tom Hiddleston. The series of snaps were about as candid as an episode of The Bachelor, and just as cheesy. Then again, you have to give Swift credit for the sheer Swift of it all: a steady rotation of interchangeable love interests combined with a New England seashore and a whole lot of hand-holding reads like a very uncreative game of Taylor Swift mad-libs. Boyfriends may come and go, but a personal brand is forever.
At this point, one would expect Calvin Harris to take the hint, gracefully avoid the HiddleSwift tabloid frenzy, and wait for Swift to assign him an even taller, skinnier girlfriend from her squad roster. Luckily for us, Calvin Harris is pettier than a bored real housewife, and has about as much social media chill as Demi Lovato.
Harris initially reacted to the breakup with a magnanimous Tweet, and insisted that he and Swift had simply gone their separate ways. But after images of Swift giving the next James Bond mouth-to-mouth flooded the internet, Harris decided that he could not in good conscience continue following his ex-girlfriend on social media. He also unfollowed Swift’s brother, Austin Swift—the first piece of collateral damage as shit began to truly hit the fan.
Like two characters in a Taylor Swift song, the exes proceeded to purge their Instagrams of every shared snap and anniversary pic. Harris also noticeably increased his number of workout selfies on Snapchat, in keeping with the Kardashian koan that the best revenge is a revenge body. But no amount of Instagram profile pruning or shirtless snaps could prepare the world for the final stage of Harris’s social media clapback, when the DJ started personally responding to Taylor Swift fans with reckless abandon.
Apparently sick of rumors and misinformation, Harris started to spill the tea. When one Instagram user asked why he didn’t just share his side of the story, Harris insinuated that Swift was pretty OCD when it came to their relationship/business arrangement: “She controlled the media and this situation. I had no idea what was going on. So that kind of makes it a lot worse from my perspective." When the ill-advised AMA turned to Harris’ decision to unfollow (and then refollow) his ex, he explained, "I cared too much and then I didn't care at all. I am a real person remember."
On the question of whether or not he dumped Swift, Harris insisted, "Bro I didn't leave anyone and she's def not sad. It's all good." When @butikeepswifting mused that “For all we know Taylor broke up with him to be with another man and that is quite upsetting,” Harris directly replied to the Swift fan, calling them “the only smart one at this point.” And when another user accused the EDM producer of being jealous, he quickly corrected them: “not jealous sir, FREE.”
In other words, Calvin Harris came to slay.
Even more remarkably, Harris’s people aren’t crying hack. While a “source close to Harris” told media outlets that the Instagram melee wasn’t actually Harris’ handiwork, his own reps haven’t confirmed or denied the DJ’s personal intervention. Naturally, the comments have been deleted, and screenshots are all that remain of the wreckage.
While it’s hard to believe that Calvin Harris actually got in a series of emotional Instagram conversations with his ex-girlfriend’s social media followers, it would be by far the most relatable and appealing thing the 32-year-old has done since, well, breaking up with Taylor Swift. So for giving a lucky group of Swifties a real thrill, creating some A+ content, and generally refusing to go softly into that good night, we salute you, Calvin Harris.