Taylor Lautner wishes he could go back in time to defend Taylor Swift. In a clip from the podcast The Squeeze, hosted by Lautner’s wife, Tay Dome, the actor revealed that he thought that Kanye West’s infamous interruption of Swift’s VMAs 2009 speech was a “rehearsed skit.”
When asked by Dome what moment he would go to if he could travel back in time, Lautner said he’d return to the 2009 VMAs, where he presented his then-girlfriend Swift with an award, and was “unaware that the Kanye thing was not a skit.”
“I gave her the award. I took five steps back and was standing five feet behind her. In the middle of her giving her thank you speech, Kanye jumps up onto the stage,” he said. “I could barely hear it. I can’t see them. I’m just assuming this whole thing was a practiced and rehearsed skit because why else would Kanye West be jumping on the stage interrupting Taylor Swift? It just didn’t make sense.”
“If you look back at it, I’m actually caught laughing and, like, giggling at it. I’m like, ‘I can’t hear them, but this is probably really funny right now,’” Lautner added. “He jumped off. She finished. The second she turned back around and I saw her face for the first time, I was like, ‘Oh. No. …That wasn’t good.’”
Watching a clip of West’s interruption at the awards show, Lautner is clearly seen giggling before looking around in confusion. But what would Lautner interrupting West even have looked like? Would he have gone up to West and snatched the mic back? Would he have pushed him away from Swift?
Well, he had some ideas as he addressed the moment during his opening monologue of Saturday Night Live back in 2013. “I was up on stage with her when that happened, and as you can see… I really stood up for her,” he said with a shrug as the video of the moment played. “I guess I could’ve done a little more.”
Lautner then joked and recreated the moment with a skit using mannequins representing Swift and West. “Stand aside, honey. I’ll handle this… Not so tough now, are you, Kanye West? It just so happens that you messed with the wrong Taylors.” Lautner then throws a few karate punches and backflips before punching the West mannequin’s head off.
We don’t know how things would have actually gone, but the cringeworthy moment has gone down in awards show history. It was later revealed that Pink walked up to West and “got in his face… and was pointing in his face and nodding back and forth” after the encounter. And that West was “very upset” that he was asked to leave after the controversial moment.
“I feel like I had an entire year to process what you think of certain things. For me, I just write what I feel. It’s hard to explain how you get there, but a lot of times… I don’t know exactly how I feel about something until I write about it,” Swift told Entertainment Tonight a year after the incident, referring to her song “Innocent.” “Music has done so much to get me through life.”
The moment on the VMAs stage initiated a longstanding feud between Swift and West — there was the apology that same year, Swift presenting him with the Video Vanguard Award in 2015 with West sending her flowers. But then, in 2016, West messed things up again when he released “Famous,” featuring the line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous” line. That moment initiated a seemingly neverending saga as well.