The “Lover” singer — who was named Billboard’s Woman of the Decade — bashed the record executive for allegedly bullying her with his “toxic male privilege.” She said that his refusal to let her purchase her own music causes a threat to not only her, but all musicians who wish to own their art.
At the Thursday, December 12, event, Swift, 30, began by criticizing 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.” She then explained that Braun, 38, and Big Machine Records did just that, “without my approval, consultation, or consent.”
RadarOnline.com readers know Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta first signed the star when she was a young teenager, helping launch her career. Now that she wants to purchase back her masters, however, he has allegedly rejected her. Due to this, Swift admitted she plans to re-record her first six albums in 2020.
“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 in her speech. “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, 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.”
Swift — who turned 30 on Friday, December 13 — got emotional when talking about her ongoing feud with Braun. As readers know, the two have gone back-and-forth with their attacks on social media, with Swift claiming Braun was bullying her, and Braun claiming Swift was making up lies to fit her “narrative.” At one point, Swift claimed Braun — who bought into the record label — banned her from performing her old songs at the American Music Awards. In a scathing Instagram statement, however, Braun denied her allegations, saying he does not have the power to tell her what to perform. Ultimately, Swift was able to perform her old hits, including “Love Story” and “Style,” while being honored as the Artist of the Decade.
“And of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced,” Swift continued. “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.”
The singer then thanked her supporters for standing by her through the years and through her latest scandal. “I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever,” she said.
To wrap up her 15-minute speech, Swift gave her fellow artists some words of inspiration, saying that “no matter what else enters the conversation, we will always bring it back to music.”
“As for me, lately I've been focusing less on what they say I can't do and more on doing whatever the hell I want,” she concluded with a laugh before receiving a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd.