Taylor began her speech on December 13 to call out a shift in the music industry that she said affected her personally. “That is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it’s real estate,” she said.
The “Lover” singer then called out her nemesis Scooter by name and said, “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.” She also called his supporters “the definition of toxic male privilege.”
As OK! readers know, Scooter purchased Taylor’s masters in June and she slammed him in a lengthy Tumblr post following the acquisition. “It's hard when you get attacked and it's not based on any truth, but for that other person it may be based on truth but they don't have all the information,” Scooter said on Tony Gonzalez‘s Wide Open podcast in September.
She also claimed Scooter was prohibiting her from performing her old music at the American Music Awards in November. Big Machine Records said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight on November 15 that “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere."
Taylor also said in an interview with Billboard on December 11 that she “would have paid so much” to get her masters back. She echoed those sentiments during her speech on December 12. “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,” she said.
She continued, “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.”
“The fact is that private equity is what enabled this man to think, according to his own social media posts, that he could ‘buy me.’ Well, I’m obviously not going willingly,” Taylor said.
Despite the singer’s troubles she took a minute to thank the women who have supported her during “one of the most difficult times.”
“I spent 10 years of my life trying rigorously to purchase my masters outright and was then denied that opportunity, and I just don’t want that to happen to another artist if I can help it,” Taylor ended her speech. “God, I would have paid so much for them! Anything to own my work that was an actual sale option, but it wasn’t given to me.”
Scooter opened up about the public feud at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference on November 21. “I just think we live in a time of toxic division, and of people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations. I don’t like politicians doing it. I don’t like anybody doing it. If that means that I’ve got to be the bad guy longer, I’ll be the bad guy longer, but I’m not going to participate," he said.
What do you think about Taylor’s speech at the Billboard Women In Music Awards? Sound off in the comments below!