Taking On Taylor Swift
Music News

TAKING ON TAYLOR SWIFT: New Special On Max Examines “Shake It Off” Copyright Lawsuit

As Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour expands around the globe and onto the silver screen, CNN’s investigation into the copyright lawsuit brought by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler against Swift for her hit song “Shake it Off” will stream on Max in TAKING ON TAYLOR SWIFT. Produced by the CNN FlashDocs unit, the special explores creativity, credit, and the hazy line between cultural appreciation and appropriation.

TAKING ON TAYLOR SWIFT will be available to stream this FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 on Max.

The 2017 lawsuit, which was settled and dismissed in 2022, alleged the chorus of Swift’s hit song, “Shake It Off” (“’cause the players gonna play, play, play…”) is a direct lift from the 2000 song, “Playas Gon’ Play” written by Hall and Butler, and made famous by the girl group, 3LW.  For the first time since taking legal action, Hall spoke exclusively to CNN, along with his attorney Marina V. Bogorad, about their experience taking on an indisputable giant of the music industry.

TAKING ON TAYLOR SWIFT scrutinizes the legal, ethical and cultural merits of this case and similar lawsuits lodged against some of the world’s biggest pop stars. The special features insights from songwriters Tayla Parx and Kandi Burruss, and provocative observations from critics and journalists including Shirley Halperin (Los Angeles Magazine), Sidney Madden (NPR), and Mikael Wood (Los Angeles Times).

For CNN FlashDocs, Eric Johnson serves as an Executive Producer and Emily Taguchi serves as Supervising Producer. The unit is led by Katie Hinman, Vice President of Program Development for CNN Worldwide.