In light of the recent claims made by Taylor Swift, in which she deemed Scooter Braun and other men in the music industry “bullies,” there has been a large wave of support for the popstar. While countless tweets and hashtags backed the singer, few noticeable male figures weighed in on the allegations. The lack of male voices was immediately noticed by both Swift and her fans.
Fellow singer and ex-client of Braun, Todrick Hall was one of the first men to share his experience and support Swift, followed by another small number of her male peers. One of the most notable and recent men to stand up for Taylor is her “ME!” collaborator, Brendon Urie.
The Panic! at the Disco frontman made a statement on Monday during a livestream. In frustration, he said, “What a piece of sh*t… it just like broke my heart.” He continued on to bash Braun and the music industry itself, calling it a “toxic industry.”
“Scooter Braun shit, what a piece of shit.”
Brendon Urie after reading Taylor Swift’s statement. pic.twitter.com/HzAb8DGlGj
— fₐ' (@dreamsiinflate) July 1, 2019
Urie went on to say, “It’s a sh*tshow to learn how awful people can be… just for profit. P-R-O-F-I-T. Just for a monetary gain. I don’t know what kind of…clout they feel that they deserve cause it’s like, dude, you screwed over a young artist early on, and you knew you were screwing them over. Just everybody involved in that is a piece of sh*t.”
With harsh language and direct call-outs, he explicitly gave his opinion on the industry and the “toxic men” involved. His stance on the industry is even touched on in his music. In his radio-hit, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” he sings: “All my life, been hustling/And tonight is my appraisal/’Cause I’m a hooker sellin’ songs/And my pimp’s a record label.” He is aware how abusive the industry can be, and also recognizes how it often steals earnings and controls artists. He knows how possessive it can be, especially over women, and has recognized its toxicity long before he made his recent statement.
Though he has received a great amount of praise for stepping forward to defend Swift, he has also been bashed for his own conduct. Long-time Panic! at the Disco fans have accused Urie of stealing work from ex-bandmate and lyricist Ryan Ross.
Those claims are simply not true, though. Ross wrote lyrics for two Panic! at the Disco albums and both belong to the band, not Ross himself. He was not kicked out of the band by Urie—he left both his music and the band behind. There was never public conflict between he and Urie over the lyrics, contrary to popular belief. It can be assumed that he has given Urie consent to perform his old songs (which were written for the band that Urie is still in) or else he would not be singing songs such as “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Nine In the Afternoon” on stage. While many fans are debating the morals of their situation, Ryan Ross was never legally stolen from, and Urie is not a bully or a toxic part of the music industry.
Many who doubt Urie’s sincerity often overlook the fact that he kicked touring band mate Kenneth Harrison out of Panic! at the Disco within hours of sexual harassment allegations surfacing. He has a history of standing up to abuse within in the industry and, unlike some artists, takes direct action.
Though the “High Hopes” singer tends to be thoughtless at times, he has been very respectful in the industry and is notably anti-bullying. In a recent interview, Halsey described an incident where she told Urie about a high-school bully who tore a bracelet she had received at a Panic! concert. The next day, the “Without Me” singer walked into her dressing room to find a replacement bracelet and a bouquet of flowers. Though this seems like a minor act of kindness, it shows how he is willing to aid and support the victims of bullying. Replacing a broken bracelet isn’t as big of a deal as publicly denouncing Scooter Braun, but it reveals his character and how much compassion he has for victims.
Brendon Urie and Taylor Swift have only been friends for a few months, yet he has defended her more than most of her closest male friends (Ed Sheeran, her long-time friend who is tied to her bully’s clients, is still yet to speak). Rather than being neutral, he clearly sided with her and completely denounced Braun. He pointed out the toxicity of men in the music business, as well as the industry itself. Not many men have touched on how abusive the industry actually is, but his words were unfiltered and much-needed. While Urie is not the first man to stand by Swift’s side, his statement was truthful, bold and straight-to-the-point.
Featured image via Taylor Swift