“It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” he told Esquire when asked about the song. “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
The re-release of “All Too Well,” which is widely speculated to be about his ultimately doomed relationship with Swift, resulted in the actor getting plenty of unwanted attention from Swift fans on his Instagram, which some have suggested made him disable his comments.
When asked why he took that measure, Esquire points out that Gyllenhaal didn’t answer the question directly, but opined on the culture of cyberbullying in general. “At some point, I think it’s important when supporters get unruly that we feel a responsibility to have them be civil and not allow for cyberbullying in one’s name,” he said.
“That begs for a deeper philosophical question. Not about any individual, per se, but a conversation that allows us to examine how we can—or should, even—take responsibility for what we put into the world, our contributions into the world,” Gyllenhaal added. “How do we provoke a conversation? We see that in politics. There’s anger and divisiveness, and it’s literally life-threatening in the extreme.”
For what it’s worth, Swift has always been up-front about using her past relationships for songs, but she’s never been one to name names. Asked if he checked out the re-recorded version of Red, Gyllenhaal simply responded, “No.”