Well, friends, this is the apparent end of the closest thing the pop-culture world has had to a cold war this past decade. Katy Perryand Taylor Swift have officially buried the proverbial hatchet, as Perry makes a surprise cameo at the end of the new music video for Swift’s single “You Need to Calm Down.” Among many other things, the cameo makes it clear why Swift wanted to release the single on Friday, as she discussed in her Instagram Live session last Thursday, to give the video—which features a range of queer icons, and ends with a message of support for the Equality Act—its own moment.
Swift and Perry—as we will all be telling our grandchildren about some day, no doubt—had seemingly been on good terms, before some of Swift’s touring dancers left for Perry’s show, in 2013. Swift’s hit “Bad Blood” is famously said to be about Perry, and Perry’s 2017 “Swish Swish” is thought to be a rebuttal of sorts from Perry. There were signs of reconciliation recently, however, as Perry sent Swift flowers last year before her Reputation stadium tour, and, just last week, Perry Instagrammed a plate of chocolate chip cookies, from Swift, with the message “Peace at Last.”
And now Perry is showing up in a burger costume—which looks to be the same one she wore to the Met Gala after-parties this year—with Swift wearing a matching french fries costume. The pair hug and do a sweet little slow dance as the (star-studded) Technicolor video for “You Need to Calm Down” ends, with Swift mouthing the closing words. Both Perry and Swift, of course, promptly Instagrammed a screen-cap of the moment, along with a behind-the-scenes shot from set, each choosing on-brand pun-ny captions (Swift: “A happy meal”; Perry: “This meal is BEEF-free.”).
There is a lot else going on in this video, though none of it as headline-making as the Perry cameo. Swift recruited an arsenal of talent for the clip—directed by herself and Drew Kirsch, and executive produced by herself and Todrick Hall—including Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Reynolds, the Queer Eye Fab Five, RuPaul, Laverne Cox, Adam Rippon, Ciara, Hayley Kiyoko, Billy Porter, and more, all of whom make brief cameos. There is a drag pageant segment in which a group of drag queens appear as various pop icons (including Ariana Grande, Adele, and Beyoncé.) The video ends with a title-card message in support of the Equality Act, directing viewers to Swift’s petition for Senate support of the measure.