Pop icon Taylor Swift has canceled her scheduled performance at the 2019 Melbourne Cup after animal rights activists accused her of “endorsing animal abuse.”
“The controversial horse racing event in Australia announced the Grammy winner, 29, would be headlining in early September but revealed on Saturday she pulled out,” reports Fox News. “Six horses have died while racing in the Melbourne Cup, including an Irish racehorse that was euthanized on the racetrack last year after breaking its shoulder.”
In a statement, Mushroom Events, which organizes the Melbourne Cup, said that changes in Swift’s “Asian promo schedule” resulted in the cancelation. “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. To all of Taylor’s fans, we hope to see Taylor in Australia in 2020,” said Michael Gudinski.
Neil Wilson, CEO of Victoria Racing Club (VRC), said Swift’s cancelation is “disappointing.”
“The VRC has learned that Taylor Swift is now unable to make the trip to Australia and therefore cannot be with us on Melbourne Cup Day. Obviously, this is disappointing for everyone,” said Wilson. “We understand how important the pre-Cup entertainment is and we look forward to providing an update shortly.”
Taylor Swift has given no statement on the matter.
Shortly after the Melbourne Cup announced Swift’s name, the animal rights group Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses immediately launched a petition asking people to “sign & share” so that she would cancel her performance:
It seems Taylor Swift is either completely unaware of the cruel reality of horse racing or she has put money before compassion by agreeing to perform at the 2019 Melbourne Cup.
This is 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 animal cruelty.
The day is becoming widely regarded as a national disgrace, with #NupToTheCup last year trending all day on Twitter.
One horse is killed on Australian racetracks every three days. Thousands who are fortunate enough to survive being beaten with a whip and pushed well beyond their limits on the track are slaughtered when no longer profitable. Many don’t even make it to the track, killed as foals for simply not having the desired attributes.
Taylor Swift is endorsing animal abuse by performing at this event where horses are being killed for gambling profits and entertainment. If she cares at all about other animals the way she appears to care about cats, she will cancel her show and use her voice to make a strong statement that animal abuse is unacceptable and say #NupToTheCup.
After news of the cancelation broke, the Coalition praised the Swift’s decision in a post on Facebook Saturday.
“THANK YOU TAYLOR! We are absolutely delighted with the news,” said the post. “The pressure on Taylor Swift to cancel her performance was significant. Her fans did not want to see her supporting animal abuse. Whilst the reason being used by the racing industry is a scheduling mix up, it appears to us that she has responded to those calls.”
“We will be keeping a close eye out for whether another artist is announced to perform at the day which is widely becoming known as a national disgrace,” the post continued. “No one should be supporting this event which depends on the abuse and suffering of horses.”