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Taylor Swift Faces Political Pressure Amidst Eras Tour

California’s Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis tries to shut down Taylor Swift

August 4, 2023

“Whether you’re a fan of Taylor Swift or not, it’s hard to deny the cultural and financial juggernaut the pop superstar has become,” the Harvard Gazette contends. Her album “Midnights,” released in late 2022, was the year’s top-seller at 1.8 million copies, and “Speak Now” debuted at number one, enabling Swift to surpass Barbra Streisand for “the most number-one albums by a woman artist.”

As part of her “The Eras Tour,” Swift has scheduled five shows in August at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis tried to shut down the star singer. 

As Evan Symon of the California Globe reports, the Lt. Gov. signed a letter with state and local officials in Los Angeles, “urging singer Taylor Swift to cancel her highly hyped concerts” at SoFi Stadium “in favor of supporting solidarity with striking union hotel workers.”

California’s Lt. Gov. “serves as Acting Governor whenever the Governor is absent from the state, and automatically becomes Governor if a vacancy occurs in the Office of Governor.” The Lt. Gov is also president of the state senate and serves on the University of California Board of Regents and other state education bodies. The duties of the Lt. Gov. do not include siding with one party in a labor dispute outside of state government. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 83.9 percent of California workers, the vast majority, are not union members. Only 16.1 percent of workers, a distinct minority, are union members, according to the BLS. Even if the numbers were reversed, that would be no justification for California’s Lt. Gov. to try and shut down Taylor Swift’s shows. That would force the singer to cancel contracts for the shows, void the tickets purchased in advance, and, as the Orange County Register put it, “punish music fans looking for entertainment.”

At the time of this writing, Swift has announced no plans to cancel the shows. The singer-songwriter didn’t become a “cultural and financial juggernaut” by caving to the misguided crusades of politicians. 

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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