But Swift saved some of her harshest words for Braun, who acquired the rights to her masters when he purchased her former record label with backing from a private equity firm. “As your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up. That is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it is real estate, as if it’s an app or a shoe line. This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent,” she said. “After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalogue was sold to Scoter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I’m told was funded by the Soros Family, 23 Capital and the 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.”
“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 how I would feel about it, though. Let me just say that the definition of the toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, ‘Well, he’s always been nice to me’ when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music,” she continued. “Of course he’s nice to you. If you’re in this room you have something he needs.”
She continued, “The fact is that private equity enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could ‘buy me.’ 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.”
Well, that’s indeed one powerful way to kick off your 30th year, Tay. We’re impressed.