Taylor Swift knows how to use her words to make an impact, and that goes beyond just songwriting. After Swift accepted the first-ever Billboard Woman of the Decade award on Thursday, Dec. 12, she gave a powerful speech about the music industry, including some remarks that many think were pointed at Scooter Braun. Taylor Swift's quotes about toxic male privilege are so powerful.
If you need a reminder, news of Swift and Braun's bad blood made headlines in June 2019. It all started when Swift publicly slammed the music mogul in a Tumblr statement after he and Big Machine Records bought the rights to her pre-Lover-era music catalog. Swift accused Braun of years of "incessant, manipulative bullying," and stated she was "sad and grossed out." She later shared that Braun and Big Machine were preventing her from performing any of her old songs at the AMAs, a claim which they denied in statements of their own. (Swift later ended up performing the medley at the AMAs, where she accepted the award for Artist of the Decade.)
So when Swift got the chance to express herself in a room full of music industry professionals on Dec. 12, she didn't hold back. According to People, here's what she had to say:
That is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it’s real estate. 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. To this day, none of these investors have ever [contacted me] or my team directly to perform their due diligence on their investment in me to ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, my music… my handwriting. Of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced.
Braun's team did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on Swift's speech.
Swift changed gears, pointing fingers at those who still support Braun despite all that's happened. Swift continued:
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 rights to own their music. Of course, he’s nice to people in this room, you have something he needs. 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.
Swift concluded her speech with a heartfelt message of thanks to women in the music industry who have helped her through this trying time.
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. I will never ever forget it. Like, ever.
Watch the full speech below.
While Swift basks in the glow of her well-deserved Billboard award, she can do so knowing she spoke out about something that has affected her and so many other women in the industry greatly.