Taylor Swift doesn’t want to calm down.
Her Thursday night appeal on Twitter is the latest and one of the most high-profile moves by a female entertainer in Hollywood to assert her independence and control over her own music.
“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,” she said in posts on Tumblr and Twitter. “Right now my performance at the AMA’s, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I’m planning to play until November 2020 are a question mark.”
Swift asserted that Scott Borchetta, founder of Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), and Scooter Braun, founder at SB Projects LLC, are preventing her from performing old songs at the American Music Awards, where she is scheduled to receive ‘Artist of the Decade’ award on Nov. 24.
In addition, she announced that an upcoming Netflix documentary about her is also facing issues with incorporating her music.
“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished,” she said.
In response, Swift is appealing to the Carlyle Group and her fans to help.
“I’m especially asking for help from the Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music,” she wrote.
What does Carlyle Group have to do with all this? Carlyle is a minority investor in Ithaca Holdings LLC, which acquired Big Machine Label Group in June.
The Carlyle Group, which first invested in Ithaca in 2017, was “supporting the transaction, alongside Scooter Braun and Ithaca Holdings, through an additional equity investment by way of its Carlyle Partners VI fund,” the companies said in a June statement.
“Our artist-first spirit and combined roster of talent, executives, and assets is now a global force to be reckoned with,” Scott Borchetta, founder of BMLG, said at the time. “This is a very special day and the beginning of what is sure to be a fantastic partnership and historic run.”
“I’m especially asking for help from the Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music.”
BLMG released some of Taylor Swift’s best-known records and credits itself with “helping develop her into a global superstar.”
Allegations of unfair treatment or sexism in the music industry are not limited to high-profile names like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga or Kesha. More details and information has emerged in the wake of the #metoo movement, but data remains scant as women still represent a minority of songwriters. Nor is the problem limited to the U.S.
In the U.K., for example, just 13% of 95,000 songwriters are female, according to PRS for Music.
While an outpouring of support for Swift from her fans and celebrities followed, Carlyle Group is yet to comment on the issue.
“Scott and Scooter, you know what the right thing to do is. Taylor and her fans deserve to celebrate the music!!” model Gigi Hadid tweeted.
Big Machine Label Group denied Swift’s allegations in a statement on Friday.
“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her tumblr statements yesterday based on false information,” the company said. “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special.”
The Carlyle Group, Ithaca Holdings and Netflix didn’t respond to a request for comment.