Here’s Why Fans Think Taylor Swift’s New Album ‘Tortured Poets Department’ Is a Dig at Joe Alwyn


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Taylor Swift fans went into the 2024 Grammys thinking that, best case scenario, she might announce the release date of her long awaited Reputation (Taylor’s Version) during one of her acceptance speeches. Instead, the 34-year-old pop star dropped the bombshell news that she has a brand new album coming out — and its title is already attracting suspicion, at least where one Joe Alwyn is concerned.


Immediately after winning best pop vocal album for Midnights at the Sunday (Feb. 4) awards, Swift told the crowd at Crypto.com Arena, “I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years, which is that my brand new album comes out April 19.”

“It’s called The Tortured Poets Department,” she continued in the moment, noting that the award was her 13th career Grammy. “I’m gonna go and post the cover right now backstage. Thank you, I love you.”

Notably, the new project will be Swift’s first batch of fresh material since her high profile breakup from Alwyn, whom she dated for about six years (the star is now publicly in a relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce). And if fans weren’t expecting that her next album after Midnights would include songs about the Conversations With Friends actor before, they definitely are now, as many have noticed an interesting parallel between the title of Tortured Poets Department and the “Anti-Hero” singer’s former love interest.

It all dates back to a December 2022 interview between Alwyn and Normal People‘s Paul Mescal for Variety, during which the two actors reveal that the name of their WhatsApp group chat is “Tortured Man Club.” “It hasn’t had much use recently,” Alwyn remarked at the time.

Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal have a WhatsApp group with Andrew Scott called “The Tortured Man Club.”

“It hasn’t had much use recently,” Alwyn says.
“I feel like we’re less tortured now,” Mescal quips. https://t.co/CSai4ScQpz pic.twitter.com/veCp1ZdFsD

— Variety (@Variety) December 15, 2022

Tortured Man Club? Tortured Poets Department? Many Swifties clocked the immediate similarities between the two titles. In the hours since the Grammys wrapped up, the fanbase has been alight with memes pointing out the link between the two.

“joe alwyn and paul mescal in their gc rn,” one fan tweeted, paired with a video of Euphoria‘s Alexa Demie, asking, “Is this f–king play about us?”

“joe alwyn watching ‘the tortured man club’ chat reviving right now,” wrote another Swiftie, adding a Succession clip of Kieran Culkin’s character looking depressed as he stares at a computer screen.

See more reactions to Swift’s possible dig at Alwyn’s group chat name below.

Joe Alwyn thinking he was safe with Midnights marked as a breakup album#GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/mCnTswYF5E

— T (@trinawatters) February 5, 2024

joe alwyn and paul mescal in their gc rn pic.twitter.com/sESDc5ZC5p

— m (@mariavmo) February 5, 2024

just saw someone say “Welcome to your tape, Joe Alwyn” pic.twitter.com/fIw9tCcQ9p

— uncle june (@catholicguilter) February 5, 2024

paul mescal and joe alwyn in the tortured man club group chat after the tortured poets department album name reveal pic.twitter.com/dgfZzAiQsm

— reputation connoisseur (@geniussweater) February 5, 2024

Joe Alwyn right now and all the other “tortured men club” 😭😭pic.twitter.com/XgXwfyuj1e

— Agᥒᥱs📝Tortured Poets Department (@reuslut1989) February 5, 2024

joe alwyn watching “the tortured man club” chat reviving right nowpic.twitter.com/CgagfFZtnP https://t.co/tN5JBR864a

— Jair (@jairesen) February 5, 2024

Joe Alwyn after Taylor announced The Tortured Poets Department pic.twitter.com/0zV2bI92wt

— Luna 🐍🖤 (@SwiftieLuna) February 5, 2024

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