Taylor Swift Said The Response To Her Post About Scooter Braun Was "The Definition Of Toxic Male Privilege"

    "Of course he's nice to you," she said of Scooter Braun. "If you're in this room, you have something he needs."

    On Thursday, Taylor Swift became the first person to be honoured with the title of Woman of the Decade at Billboard's annual Women in Music Awards event.

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    Taking to the stage to accept her award from Jameela Jamil, Taylor gave a 15-minute speech during which she shouted out fellow female artists and put the industry on blast for its promotion of "toxic male privilege".

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    She began by speaking about all the things she's learned since beginning her career at 16, pointing out that as a woman in the music industry, people will always "have reservations" about you.

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    Reflecting themes from her song "The Man", Taylor said she learned that people would always question whether she deserved her success, or whether a male producer or "savvy record label" was behind it all.

    "It wasn't," she said, throwing a little shade at Big Machine Records in the process.

    "This was the decade I became a mirror for my detractors," Taylor continued. "Whatever they said I couldn't do is exactly what I did."

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    "I decided that I would be the only songwriter on my third album, Speak Now," she said, explaining her response to the harsh criticism that came her way as a result of her early success.

    "I would tour constantly, work on my vocals every day, and perfect my stamina in a live show. I decided I would be what they said I couldn't be. I didn't know then that soon enough people would decide on something else I wasn't quite doing right."

    Of course, Taylor also took a moment of her speech to reference her ongoing battle with her old record label, Big Machine, which — alongside the master recordings of her first six albums — was purchased by Scooter Braun earlier this year in a move Taylor called her "worst nightmare".

    "Lately there has been a new shift that has affected me personally, and that I feel is a potentially harmful force in our industry," Taylor said. "And as your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up."

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    "That is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it is real estate," she continued. "This just happened to me without my approval, consultation, or consent."

    She went on to reiterate that she was never contacted about the sale before or after it happened, and said that certain responses to her speaking up about the situation were "the definition of toxic male privilege".

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    "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 said. "Of course he's nice to you. If you're 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 post — that he could 'buy me'," Taylor went on. "But I'm obviously not going willingly."

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    In the end, Taylor brought it back around to something positive — women empowering each other when the rest of the world is trying to tear them down.

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    "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," she said, "and I will never, ever forget it."

    "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," Taylor concluded her speech.

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    You can watch Taylor's speech in full here:

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    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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