Taylor Swift calls out 'toxic male privilege' of music industry in empowering speech
"Of course he’s nice to you - if you’re in this room, you have something he needs."
Taylor Swift has called out the "toxic male privilege" that exists in the music industry, while addressing the recent purchase of her back catalogue.
The 'ME!' singer said that she believes much of the criticism she has received over the course of her career has been sexist and that finally, after years of staying silent she wanted to speak out.
"Have you ever heard someone say about a male artist, 'I really like his songs, but there's something about him I don't like'? No, that criticism is reserved for us," she said during her acceptance speech for Billboard's Woman of the Decade Award.
"When this decade began I was 20 years old, I saw that as a female in this industry, some people will always have the slightest reservations about you.
“People want to explain away a woman’s success in this industry."
Swift took the opportunity to detail Scooter Braun's recent involvement in the purchase of her back catalogue - an issue that she has been quite vocal about over the past few weeks.
"Lately there's been a new shift that has affected me personally, and as your resident loud person, I feel like I need to bring it up," she said.
"And that’s the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it's real estate, or an app, or a shoe line.
"This happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent."
Swift said that Scooter never contacted her or her team to discuss the sale. She added that those who remain supportive of the producer are feeding into the misogynistic narrative that women's talent needs to be explained away.
"I'm fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about [the sale]," she said.
"And 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."
"And of course he’s nice to you - if you’re in this room, you have something he needs."