A few months ago, Taylor Swift went to war against Big Machine Records, her old label, after new owner (and Swift’s nemesis) Scooter Braun dared to suggest that Swift wouldn’t be able to use her old Big Machine-era songs in a then-upcoming American Music Awards performance or a still-upcoming Netflix documentary. It was a brutal, bloody feud that only ended when Braun and Big Machine tried to walk back their protestations by saying they never had an issue with Swift in the first place—a claim that somehow made things even more complicated when the label partially attributed the decision to the AMA producers at Dick Clark Productions, which never had any say in what Swift could or could not do with her old songs.
We still don’t really get it, but the AMA performance went off without a hitch (beyond the fact that it was shockingly dull and straightforward) and now we’re rapidly approaching the premiere of the documentary, Miss Americana, which will be released on January 31 (after a premiere at Sundance later this week). Yahoo! has some interesting details about what to expect from Miss Americana, specifically the fact that—in addition to cover the tired juxtaposition of having fun making music while also getting annoyed by being famous—it will focus on Swift’s journey from purposefully avoiding politics to finally using her platform to promote issues she cares about (a switch that won her an award from GLAAD).
Yahoo! says there’s a moment in the film where a younger Swift appears on David Letterman’s Late Show and refuses to acknowledge politics at all, drawing “roars of approval” from the audience. Swift told Yahoo! that she would get “applauded for it” when she didn’t bring up politics, and so she just accepted that people didn’t want to hear about important topics from her. She also explained that she was a kid when Natalie Maines blew up the Dixie Chicks by daring to criticize George W. Bush, so she was scared off of ever saying anything political. This all comes to a head in the film, apparently, when Swift suggests to her dad and her team that she was wrong to have stayed out of the 2016 presidential campaign until the last second—a hesitancy that had convinced Trumpers that Swift simply had to be one of them.
However, the documentary does not touch on the aforementioned feud with Scooter Braun, who apparently isn’t mentioned at all. Director Lana Wilson said that whole thing kicked off too late in the production to really be included, and besides, Wilson told Yahoo! that Swift has already done a good job publicly making her case and telling that story. Plus, it would be a little “snake eating its own tail” if the documentary that Braun supposedly tried to fight ended up making him a plot a point. That’s a little too Exit Through The Gift Shop for Taylor Swift.