Taylor Swift is being accused of “anti-Semitism” after she used Instagram to lash out at her former record label for making an album of a live radio performance she did when she was 18. As she sees it, the “tasteless” new release was motivated by “shameless greed.”
“I’m always honest with you guys about this stuff so I just wanted to tell you that this release is not approved by me,” Swift wrote to her Instagram followers. “It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial backers, 23 Capital, Alex Soros and the Soros family and the Carlyle Group have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn’t exactly a wise choice and they need money.”
She concluded: “In my opinion … just another case of shameless greed in the time of coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent.”
Scooter Braun bought Big Machine Records, the label to which Swift was signed earlier in her career, last year—much to the singer’s dismay. At the time she called the purchase her “worst case scenario.”
So where does the alleged anti-Semitism come into play? According to Swift, Braun’s activities are financed in part by Alex Soros, son of billionaire investor George Soros. The latter, a Hungarian-born Jew, has long been the target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, which hold that Soros and his family are controlling world finance and world politics behind the scenes.
So people are taking exception to Swift’s having associated “the Soros family” with “shameless greed.”
“You have every right to be upset about others profiting off your music. But PLEASE don’t share antisemitic conspiracy theories about the Soros family,” Jewish political group Bend the Arc tweeted. “‘Shameless greed’ is a dog-whistle used against Jews. Your Jewish fans deserve better.”
And Tara Mulholland, a producer at CNN, tweeted that “Taylor Swift deploying a Soros dog whistle is … a choice.”
Swift has not responded to the accusations.
In 2016, Vice ran an article dealing with Swift’s curious popularity among white supremacists and neo-Nazis, some of whom refer to her as a “pure Aryan goddess.” At the time the article was published, a Facebook group called Taylor Swift for Fascist Europe had more than 18,000 members. Membership to such groups doesn’t show up in pre-employment screening, but perhaps it should, if only because you don’t want extraordinary idiots working at your company.