Pop superstar Taylor Swift slammed music industry manager Scooter Braun on Thursday after he reportedly bought the rights to her music with what she claims was funding from the family of left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Swift made the remarks during her acceptance speech for Billboard’s Woman of the Decade award Thursday evening, calling out the “unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying our music as if it’s real estate — as if it’s an app or a shoe line.”
Braun, 38, recently purchased the independent record label Big Machine and the master rights to Taylor’s first six albums, which Taylor said was funded by the family of left-wing billionaire George Soros.
“This just happened to me without my approval, consultation, or consent,” Swift said. “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 that Carlyle Group.”
The Grammy-winner continued by reaffirming her new progressive worldview, complaining about the “toxic male privilege” in the music industry:
And of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced. I’m fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it, though, and 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.
The fact is that private equity enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could “buy me.” But I’m obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back and show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times, and I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever.
The feud between Swift and Braun became public last month when Swift claimed that Braun was blocking her plans to perform songs from her first six albums at the 2019 AMAs, although she ended up singing them anyway.
Braun responded at the time in an open letter via Instagram, demanding that she speak “directly and respectfully,” while also complaining that his family had begun receiving death threats as a result.
“Since your public statement last week there have been numerous death threats directed at my family,” Braun wrote on Instagram. “I assume this was not your intention but it is important that you understand that your words carry a tremendous amount of weight and that your message can be interpreted by some in different ways.”
“Moving forward I would like to find a resolution,” he continued. “I will make myself available whenever works for you. Many have told me that a meeting will never happen as this is not about truth or resolution but instead a narrative for you. I am hopeful that is not the case. I’m right here, ready to speak directly and respectfully.”