Shade alert! Taylor Swift gave a subtle nod to her feud with Scooter Braun in her new music video for “The Man,” which premiered on Thursday, February 27. In one scene, a businessman goes to the bathroom, where different messages are written in graffiti all over the room. The 30-year-old’s former albums — 1989, Red, Speak Now and more — appear on the wall in addition to “Karma,” which was written twice.
Of course, fans pointed out why this Easter egg is very important as Taylor has been angry with Scooter, 38, ever since he bought her Big Machine Music catalog without her permission. One person wrote, “KARMA IS WRITTEN TWICE. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS 2? TS8 IS THE SECOND ALBUM THAT’S GONNA BE OWNED BY TAYLOR. ‘KARMA’ IS TS8!!!!! WE’RE GETTING Reputation 2.0. OMG Rep stans, we WON. #TheManMusicVideo.” A second person added, “It’s actually written three times if you look closely, but the one is written on top of the other.” A third person chimed in, writing, “I saw that front and center and THOUGHT THE SAME THING!!! That was the first little scream I had during the video.”
Additionally, there’s also a sign on the wall that says, “No scooters are allowed,” referring to her battle with the businessman. It’s been a tough year for Taylor as she has fought to own her music again, and in this video, she transformed into ~the man~ — literally — to address the double standards between men and women.
In December 2019, the “Shake It Off” singer slammed the music executive during her Billboard Woman of the Decade speech at an event in Los Angeles. “That is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it’s real estate,” the blonde babe began. “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.”
Taylor continued her lengthy message by explaining it hasn’t been easy to stick up for herself in Hollywood. “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 right to own their music,” she said. “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.”
Despite the ups and downs, Taylor revealed who she can really rely on when times get tough. “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,” she shared. “I will never ever forget it. Like, ever.”
Before the American Music Awards in November, the Grammy winner told her fans on social media that she wouldn’t be able to perform her old tunes during the televised event due to ownership rights. “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,” she wrote on November 14. “I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote.”
The next day, Big Machine Records released a statement and said Taylor’s claims were not true. “Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist,” the statement read. “To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication … We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.”
At the end of the day, Taylor is looking forward to re-recording her bops for herself and all the Swifties. “It’s going to be fun because it’ll feel like regaining a freedom and taking back what’s mine. When I created [these songs], I didn’t know what they would grow up to be,” she told Billboard magazine in an interview published on December 11. “Going back in and knowing that it meant something to people is actually a really beautiful way to celebrate what the fans have done for my music.”
Bravo, Taylor. You’ve done it again!
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