Dave Portnoy of Barstool remains a highly controversial figure in the podcast and digital media world. After Insider published damning reports alleging Portnoy sexually assaulted women as young as 19 years old first emerged in 2021, the internet personality has continued to expand his brand of misogyny, hiding beneath the guise of being a Taylor Swift fan.
This week, Portnoy is reflecting upon a recent social media scandal that rocked Swift’s boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce‘s, team. Kelce’s publicist, a woman named Pia Malihi, reposted a friend’s birthday collage for her, and the collage included an image of Swift at a Chiefs game with a clown emoji covering her face. Malihi and the friend who originally made the post since claimed that the emoji was a random choice and an accident, but only released these statements upon a firestorm of criticism from Swift and Kelce’s fans.
Did Travis Kelce’s PR Rep Diss Mother? #taylorswift
Portnoy went on to accuse Malihi of harboring jealousy against Swift, going as far as calling for her to be fired from Kelce’s team.
Recently, the media tycoon called out Kim Kardashian on the popular “BFFs Podcast” for wearing a purple dress similar to that on Swift’s “Speak Now” album cover and posting a photo of it paired with the album’s title track. Portnoy said Kardashian was “sucking up” to Swift, years after the infamous phone call between Kardashian, her ex husband rapper Kanye West, and the singer.
The disagreement between Swift and the couple was born from a misogynystic lyric from West’s track “Famous” that referenced her without her consent. Kardashian went on to claim that Swift went back on her word and that the rapper had asked her about it prior to its release, which Swift denied. The altercation sparked the inception of Swift’s “Reputation” album.
Social Media Reactions To Clowngate
Naturally, fans of the high profile couple were quick to criticize what many deemed as unprofessional behavior on Malihi’s part.
She's about to lose her job. Damnnn
— napalm_tampons (@tits_and_typos) October 29, 2023
Many felt that it was very telling about the PR representative’s personal feelings surrounding the burgeoning relationship, and that someone with such strong negative feelings towards a client’s personal relationship should not be working on their team.
— 11/11 🇦🇷 (@jennifermilde) October 29, 2023
wtf?? how disrespectful
— nini / 1989 TV!! (@saltaiir) October 29, 2023
Others were quick to remind angry fans to place blame on Malihi and not on Kelce, who appears to have nothing to do with clowngate.
This isn't on Travis. Seems she's a rookie in the PR business and just really messed up. We are not gonna to blame him for Pia's mistake.
— Bella E. (@IAmBellaE) October 29, 2023
As Portnoy brought up, Malihi once worked alongside Scooter Braun, a notorious enemy of Swift’s. Braun purchased Swift’s six original masters without her consent when he purchased Ithaca Holdings, resulting in Swift re-recording the early career masters so as to regain ownership of her own songwriting.
She’s no rookie. She worked for Scooter. She knew what she was doing.
— Jess ⎕ (@JessByrdArt) October 30, 2023
Neither Swift nor Kelce have addressed the bizarre situation at this time. It remains unclear whether Malihi’s employment will be impacted by the post.