The security guard who went viral earlier this summer for singing along to “Cruel Summer” at a Taylor Swift Eras Tour show in Minneapolis in June says the spontaneous moment got him fired from his job. In the clip, Calvin Denker gleefully joined in on the 2019 song, revealing in a TikTok video that the sing-along — and his passing notes to Swifties asking them to take pictures of him at work with Swift in the background — got him booted from the gig.
“Long story short: I was fired for it,” he says in the video. “My former security company said they had a rule about taking photos with any of their performers and the main issue they had was with my follow-up video where I said I handed out pieces of paper to the people in front of me to ask to be sent any photos that I made my way into.”
Billboard reached out to BEST Crowd Management for comment on Denker’s reported firing, but had not heard back at press time.
Denker said the HR rep from BEST did not give him any other information on why he was fired “beyond asking for photos, which is what happens at any other concert, with the only exception being that I made sure I got any I was included in.” He said every photo of him from that night was from behind the safety barricade, like any other fan photo, with Denker stressing that he never took his own phone out.
“And above all else, I made sure that Taylor Swift was safe and all the fans had a good time,” he added. Denker also said he asked the HR rep what would happen if he deleted the pics, but did not get an answer as the person he contacted went on vacation and had not responded by the time he got booked to work an Ed Sheeran show on Aug. 12 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
After getting his uniform on and speaking to his bosses — who checked in to make sure he wouldn’t be taking any videos — Denker said he was assigned to roughly the same spot he had for the Swift show near the stage for the Sheeran gig. But shortly before Sheeran took the stage, Denker said a manager moved him to a different spot. After completing his seven-hour shift, Denker said the HR person who had not responded to him about the Swift incident was upset with him for working more shifts before he was let go for good.
Denker ended the clip imploring Swifties not to lash out at BEST and said he still got to work two great shows and holds no grudges.