Earlier this year, Taylor Swift lost ownership of six of her albums released via Big Machine Records after the label group was purchased by Scooter Braun, manager for the likes of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. Swift called the $300 million dollar acquisition her “worst case scenario,” and has continually spoken out against Braun and the deal.
While accepting the Billboard Woman of the Decade award on Thursday, Swift commented further on the blockbuster label deal. Specifically, she called out Braun for his “toxic male privilege” and the way he’s treated her and her music.
“Lately there’s been a new shift that has affected me personally, and as your resident loud person, I feel like I need to bring it up,” Swift said before illustrating how her catalog has been reduced to nothing more than a product. “And that’s the unregulated world of private equity and people buying up your music… like it’s a shoe line.”
Swift continued, naming everyone involved in the Big Machine sale: “This just happened to me without my approval, consultation, or consent. After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I’m told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital, and the Carlyle Group.”
The Lover artist then talked about the “toxic male privilege” of the music business, defining it as “people saying ‘but he’s always been nice to me’ when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their right to own their music.” She added, “And of course he’s nice to you. If you’re in this room, you have something he needs.”
Elsewhere in her acceptance speech at the Women in Music event, Swift praised Lana Del Rey as the “most influential person in pop” despite being “ruthlessly criticized in her early career.” She also lauded award presenter Jameela Jamil of The Good Place, as well as a host of other prominent women in the industry.
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Watch the video of Swift’s full speech below. Swift has a number of tour dates lined up in the coming months in support of Lover, and you can grab your tickets here.
Last we heard, Swift was still planning on re-recording her old music as a means to regain control of her catalog. That option becomes legally viable as of November 2020. Well before that happens, Swift is set to appear in the upcoming film adaptation of Cats, for which she wrote “Beautiful Ghosts” alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber. The movie crawls into theaters on December 20th. She also has a documentary, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, scheduled to premiere at Sundance.