The #IStandWithTaylor hashtag was the number one trending topic on Twitter within minutes of Taylor Swift putting Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun on blast.
If you’ve missed the drama, earlier today Taylor released a statement claiming the men were preventing her from performing a medley of her music at the upcoming American Music Awards, where she’ll be honoured with the Artist of the Decade Award.
Borchetta sold his label Big Machine Records to Braun earlier this year, meaning Taylor’s first six albums now belong to the man she has described as the perpetrator of “incessant, manipulative bullying”.
She has indicated she’ll be re-recording her music in late 2020, when she is legally allowed to do so, but now says Braun and Scooter are blocking her from performing at the AMAs on the basis that it will be recorded.
“Don’t know what else to do,” she said.
“Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
Within minutes of Taylor going public on Friday, the hashtag #IStandWithTaylor was trending, with fans and celebs rushing to back the singer. A Change.org petition calling to “let Taylor Swift perform/use HER art” was signed by more than 30,000 people within an hour.
Solidarity with Taylor here, this sounds awful, and people wonder why music hasn’t had its #MeToo moment ? https://t.co/lqfRVfhDYK
— Lily A (@lilyallen) November 15, 2019
Our ex label, @toothandnail, did the very same thing to us. We are not allowed to re-record our own songs that we 100% wrote. We do not own them, we have never seen a cent from them. Thanks for speaking up, T. https://t.co/8ALP4Fb0oY
— Icon For Hire (@iconforhire) November 15, 2019
#IStandTaylorSwift. Same boat. https://t.co/bxIAucpVgZ
— Nils Lofgren (@nilslofgren) November 15, 2019
Me, sitting in my bed right now on Twitter trying to figure out how I, a broke college student who can barely afford lunch can help the AMAs Artist Of The Decade, Taylor Swift defeat the music industry evil #FreeTaylor #IStandWithTaylor pic.twitter.com/QeOERC2kL5
— 𝒻𝑜𝓁𝓀𝓁𝑜𝓇𝑒 | fan account (@cardigan_swift) November 15, 2019
IF A MAN TALKS SHIT THEN I OWE HIM NOTHING #IStandWithTaylor pic.twitter.com/N2zZkHq5Wq
— Bebu🤍 (@falsebebu13) November 15, 2019
📲 IG | Abigail sharing Taylor’s note via her Instagram story #IStandWithTaylor pic.twitter.com/u0BHKlO6jK
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) November 15, 2019
The #IStandWithTaylor moment could be a watershed one for the music industry, particularly given that several musicians and bands – including Lily Allen – are supporting her plea for help.
“I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate,” Taylor said.
“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”
Taylor has used her considerable influence to bring the music industry to task before, when she publicly called out Apple Music for not paying artists during a three-month free trial period. Apple swiftly (pardon the pun) changed its terms and conditions.
This time, it’s about ownership and an industry where artists are divorced from their own creations. Taylor even revealed a previously unannounced upcoming Netflix documentary, which has been filming for the past several years, was unable to use old performance footage.
“I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it,” Taylor said on Friday.
“I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.
“Right now, my performance at the AMAs, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark.
“I love you guys and thought you should know what’s been going on.”
Braun and Borchetta have yet to make a comment.