Why #IStandWithTaylor: She’s Not Overreacting

In a post to several of her social media platforms on Thursday night, Taylor Swift shared a new development in the acrimonious business dealing made over her master recordings. Her masters were sold by Big Machine Records president Scott Borchetta in July to Scooter Braun, a music manager with whom Swift has a negative relationship. After announcing that she plans to rerecord her entire discography as soon as her contract allows it, Swift has informed her fans that she is currently being prevented from using her previous songs in several ways. These include a performance at the American Music Awards, an upcoming Netflix documentary and the rerecording plan. A portion of the deal Borchetta and Braun proposed is that Swift must stop speaking about them in the press if she wants to perform a medley of her past hits at the AMAs - “basically, be a good little girl and shut up.”

As of the time this article was written, Swift has been granted permission to perform her old songs at the AMAs, but not to use her music otherwise. A number of musicians have spoken in support of Swift, and the hashtags #istandwithtaylor and #westandwithtaylor started trending on social media almost immediately after the news broke. Those in the music industry applaud Swift for making this information public and commend her for asserting herself as a woman at the top of her field.

Let’s review: Swift is being prevented from using music she wrote and, in some cases, also produced. Borchetta and Braun made no attempt to stop her from performing her older songs at other public appearances this year. In a statement released by Big Machine Records on Friday, they claim to have never prevented Swift from performing at the AMAs and that they are shocked at Swift’s “unilateral decision... to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.” Additionally, the statement claims that Swift owes Big Machine millions of dollars, while Swift’s camp states the exact opposite.

Photo courtesy of @adeexart via Instagram

As a feminist and fan of Swift, I find this entire issue a dramatic breach of justice on her behalf and an attempt to spite her for being the woman she is. Instead of being free to do what she likes with her music as her contract allows, two men with much less power and influence are trying to manipulate Swift’s future. By trying to prevent her from performing the medley the night she is being awarded, Borchetta and Braun appear to be sabotaging a proud moment for Swift. The language used in the statement against Swift attempts to make her out to be inflexible, dismissive and vengeful. Swift’s art is essentially being held hostage. Luckily for her, she has a strong legion of fans who will support her and defend her right to do with it what she sees fit.

There are several ways that the public can help Swift. Consider respectfully sharing your opinion on social media with #istandwithtaylor and not streaming and/or purchasing Swift’s music released before Lover (2019).