Taylor Swift Files Motion Hoping To Shake Off Lawsuit Claims From Former Girl Group 3LW

Taylor Swift in "Shake It Off" video.
(Image credit: Vevo)

Taylor Swift may be an expert when it comes to ignoring the snakes and stones thrown her way by the haters, but the allegations that she stole some lyrics for her 2014 single “Shake It Off” are proving particularly hard to shake. Despite a judge dismissing the original copyright lawsuit in 2018, an appeals panel revived the case in 2021, saying there was enough to warrant going in front of a jury. On August 8, Swift filed a motion in hopes of proving that she had not heard 3LW’s 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” before penning the lyrics to her hit. 

The lyrics to 3LW’s song do include the lines, “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate,” but Taylor Swift argued in her recently filed motion (per Billboard) that those phrases were commonly used by people around her growing up, including in other songs and movies. According to her declaration:

The lyrics to Shake It Off also draw from commonly used phrases and comments heard throughout my life. Prior to writing Shake It Off, I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity. I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville. These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’

She said she was inspired to write the song based on her life experiences, particularly the scrutiny she faced from being a public figure and her feuds with Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, etc. She said she wanted to put a comedic take on helping people deal with negative criticism — which she further did with the hilarious “Shake It Off” music video

Furthermore, T-Swift said she had not heard of the song “Playas Gon’ Play” or the band 3LW prior to the 2017 lawsuit filed by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler. Her statement also held the claim that she was not allowed to watch MTV’s Total Request Live when the song would have been on it, and that she never listened to the compilation albums that included the girl group’s music. Her motion read:

None of the CDs I listened to as a child, or after that, were by 3LW. I have never heard the song Playas Gon’ Play on the radio, on television, or in any film. The first time I ever heard the song was after this claim was made. I do not own and have never listened to the albums Now That’s What I Call Music! 6 or Now That’s What I Call Call [sic] Music! 7.

These sentiments were supported by her mother, Andrea Swift, who provided her own statement, confirming that she “carefully monitored both the television [Taylor Swift] watched and the music she heard.” Mama Swift also said Taylor’s computer use was monitored, and her daughter didn’t attend sleepovers at her friends’ homes. 

While we wait to see what happens with this legal drama, check out some of the best Taylor Swift song moments in movies and TV, with the artist getting a “super secret” inclusion in DC League of Super Pets and penning the perfect song for Where the Crawdads Sing before the movie was even shot. Also be sure to take a look at our 2022 TV Schedule to see what premieres are coming soon.  

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.