It took Taylor Swift over 10 years to be come the pop star she is today. She currently has a whopping net worth of $320 million stemming from her record sales and concert performances. However every success story faces bumps in the road. Facing major backlash from animal cruelty campaigners, she recently pulled out of the Melbrourne Cup headlining performance, less she harm her 'animal advocacy' beliefs, in the eye of the publc.
The Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most prestigious annual thoroughbred horse race. It is a 3200-metre stretch for three-year-olds and over. It's conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
It is the one of the most prestigious "two-mile" handicap in the world, on one of the richest turf races. The event starts at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November and is known locally as "the race that stops a nation".
As the top race of its type, it make sense they would be in the position to attract a top headliner the likes of Swift. And vice versa, Swift would find this stage most appealing to her level of stardom. In essence, it was a good fit for both parties.
Fly in the Ointment . . .
Ah, but there's a fly in the ointment. Did Swift do her homework or was she attracted by a big dollar payday? After all, all she had to do was perform two songs to walk away with a $1 million dollar performance fee.
Additionally, the event would extend her brand, well beyond its previous world fans.
Similar to the stature of a Super Bowl, according to the VRC’s [Victoria Racing Club's] 2018 annual report, its broadcasting made the 2017 Melbourne Cup reached 83 million people in the United States, 160 million in Europe and 300 million in Asia.
"How much of that is a result of Taylor Swift being there, I’m not sure but I think we can expect a lot more interest on the day from people who wouldn’t ordinarily have been there or been watching." said VRC chief Neil Wilson said.
Fallout from Abuse Claims
The animal rights campaigners stated six horses had died at the Melbourne Cup Day in the past six years. Per The Guardian, one was euthanized last year after fracturing its shoulder during the race. Consequently, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses started an online campaign to get Swift to back out.
The Coalition posted on Facebook to call out Swift and rally advocates for the cause.
“Taylor Swift has put money before compassion by agreeing to perform at the 2019 Melbourne Cup. An event where at least 6 horses have been KILLED over the past 6 years. With such huge success already, she could easily afford to not only say NO, but use the opportunity to help the horses by speaking up against horse cruelty in the racing industry.”
The “#NupToTheCup” hashtag lit up Twitter, with fans and animal proponents making a special effort to put additional pressure on Swift.
Swift Backs Out
Though a statement was issued stating the singer was cancelling the Melbourne Cup due to a scheduling conflict, many believe she pulled out because of the pressure of that criticism. The VRC shared the news via a media release and expressed their disappointment:
“Regrettably, Taylor is no longer able to make it to this year’s Melbourne Cup. Changes to her Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here."
The actual truth may lay somewhere in between, but suffice to say, I think it was proper for her to drop-out. That action spoke volumes to the animal advocacy folks, and perhaps provided the Cup folks with enough pushback to reexamine their treatment of horses before, during and after their races. Your thoughts, dear reader?
Primary Source: The Guardian