You didn’t think the “Woman of the Decade” would pass up the opportunity to drop some gems at Billboard’s Women in Music celebration, did you? Of course Taylor Swift slammed Scooter Braun and “toxic male privilege” during her speech at last night’s ceremony. Her legendary statement lasted for just over fifteen minutes, spanning everything from her battles with musical shareholders, investors, and label heads, to the changes she’s made as an artist over the past decade. We’d expect nothing less from the 30-year-old mega-star.
Taylor made sure to reference her ongoing battle with Scooter Braun, whose Ithaca Holdings company currently owns the masters of her entire catalog. “This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent,” Taylor explained. She even points out that she was never given the opportunity to buy out her own music—that privilege went straight to Scooter Braun.
“After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright,” she said, “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 that Carlyle Group. Yet, to this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me or my team directly—to perform their due diligence on their investment. On their investment in me. To ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, the music I wrote, the videos I created, photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs.”
Meanwhile, Scooter Braun allegedly tried to “reach out” to Taylor a few months back, having cited the fact that he never received a response from her team. Even Justin Bieber decided to weigh in on the situation in an attempt to defend his longtime manager. Taylor alluded to his alliance during her speech, calling out artists like Justin who failed to come to her defense: “Let me just say that the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry is 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. And of course he’s nice to you—if you’re in this room, you have something he needs,” she said.
Her impassioned speech ended on a moment of hope, however. Hope for what’s the come in her own career, as well as in a bettered music industry at large. “As for me, lately I’ve been focusing less on doing what they say I can’t do and more on doing whatever the hell I want,” she said. And we think that’s a damn good idea.