Taylor Swift has been embroiled in a terrible dispute with Scooter Braun, who acquired Swift's former label for $300m, delivering him control over Swift's first six albums. Swift says that Braun had bullied and tormented her for years, and that the owner of her original label, Scott Borchetta, had sold the label to him in order to punish Swift.
Since then, Braun has used his ownership of Swift catalog to bar her from performing her own hits on tour (he eventually relented after bad publicity) and to engage in general petty fuckery with no obvious business case, seemingly motivated entirely by his desire to make Swift miserable by weaponizing her own creative output.
But Braun didn't just happen to have $300m lying around to use for his vendetta. He raised that money from private equity investors, who have fast become the most unpopular rich people in a crowded field of loathesome sociopaths.
On Thursday, Swift accepted the "Woman of the Decade" award at Billboard's Women in Music conference, and in her speech she called out both the investment firm and the individuals who funded it as having culpability in her torment: "the Soros family, 23 Capital and the Carlyle Group." Swift went on to criticize private equity as a whole, calling it a "potentially harmful force [to] the music industry [that is] buying up our music as if it is real estate, as if it is an app or a shoe-line."
According to the New York Post, one of the named investors "was stunned that the normally staid world of private equity was even mentioned at a rock 'n' roll event."
Private equity stunned to be dragged into battle between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun [Richard Morgan/New York Post]
(Thanks, Kathy Padilla!)