Taylor performed this song for the first time at the 2010 VMA's, September 12th. She chose to perform this song because of a specific event that took place at the 2009 VMA's.
|Taylor performing at the 2010 VMA's, 9/12/2010|
What happened at the 2009 VMA's?
Taylor Swift had just won Best Female Video for "You Belong To Me". She was delivering her acceptance speech when Kanye West came onstage, stole the microphone and said, "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you and I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!" It was a shock to everyone there including Beyoncé who let Taylor come back up on stage when she won Video of the Year. President Obama even weighed in on the controversy.
|Kanye West and Taylor Swift, 2009 VMA's, September 13, 2009|
Taylor told The View September 15, 2009, "Well, I think my overall thought process was something like, 'Wow, I can't believe I won, this is awesome, don't trip and fall, I'm gonna get to thank the fans, this is so cool. 'Oh, Kanye West is here. Cool haircut. What are you doing there?' And then, 'Ouch.' And then, 'I guess I'm not gonna get to thank the fans.' You know, I'm not gonna say that I wasn't rattled by it. But I had to perform live five minutes later, so I had to get myself back to the place where I could perform."
Kanye did feel bad for what happened that night, but I don't know if it was more over the bad press he was getting or he really felt sorry. In a series of Twitter messages Kanye said, "She deserves the apology more than anyone... Who am I to run on stage? I would never ever again in a million years do that. Sorry to let you down. It is distasteful to cut people off as a general rule. What's the point of dressing tastefully if I'm going to act the complete opposite? Yes I was that guy. A 32 year old child. When I woke up from the crazy nightmare I looked in the mirror and said GROW UP KANYE ... I take the responsibility for my actions. Beyonce didn't need that. MTV didn't need that and Taylor and her family friends and fans definitely didn't want or need that."
So what did Taylor do? She wrote a song. In the song "Innocent" she compares making mistakes in childhood versus making mistakes when you are older. She let Kanye know that she accepted his apology and that grown ups can make mistakes too. "It's okay, life is a tough crowd/32, and still growin' up now/Who you are is not what you did./You're still an innocent."
Taylor told Access Hollywood "The decision to perform 'Innocent' on the VMA's was very inline with what the album is about. The album is called Speak Now, it's about saying, saying what you need to say at the moment that you need to say it. I had a bunch of different options going into the VMA's. I could have sung a different song, I could've not gone, I could've done a bunch of different things, but I felt like going to the VMA's and singing a song about how I had felt, it seemed like the right call if I'm going to live my life in the way that I wrote that album."
I think that Kanye is a still a jerk for what he did, but kudos to Taylor for taking the higher road and forgiving him.