Person

Alexander Soros

Born:

1985

Occupation:

Deputy Chair, Open Society Foundations

Father:

George Soros

Alexander Soros is the son of financier and philanthropist George Soros and deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, a left-of-center private grantmaking foundation created and funded by his father. Alexander Soros is the founding chairman of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and sits on the boards of Central European University, Global Witness, the International Crisis Group, and Libraries Without Borders, among other organizations. He also founded the Alexander Soros Foundation, which annually awards activists working in environmentalism and human rights.

Soros graduated with a BA in History from New York University in 2009, and received his PhD in 2018 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities at Bard College, a university that has had a long-standing relationship with George Soros. [1][2] Alexander was also an honorary fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University in Budapest, the university that his father founded in 1991. [3] Alexander is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute Für Die Wissenschaften Vom Menschen (IWM) in Vienna, a nonprofit educational institute founded in 1982. [4] George Soros sits on the board of IWM and has had a relationship with the institute going back to at least 1989. [5][6]

Taylor Swift Controversy

In April 2020, pop star Taylor Swift and Alexander Soros found themselves in a controversy with one another regarding an album of Swift’s being released without her permission by the record label company Big Machine, which is backed by Soros. Swift addressed her fans in an Instagram story, informing them that the concert in question was performed in 2008 on the radio, when she was 18 years old, and that it was being released without her approval. She claimed that this was due to music agent Scooter Braun, owner of Big Machine Label Group, [7] and what she called his “financial backers” — 23 Capital, the Carlyle Group, and Alex Soros — feeling the urge to make more money off her work. “[They] have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn’t exactly a wise choice and they need money,” she wrote. [8] [9]

Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, a holding company that Braun used to purchase the rights to Swift’s music, is heavily backed by investments from Alexander Soros. Swift claimed that Alexander Soros thereby financially aided Braun’s purchase of her records in 2019, and by extension has contributed to Braun’s decision to release her 2008 radio performance. [10]

Swift finished her Instagram story with a condemnation of Braun and his financial partners’ actions. “Just another case of shameless greed in the time of Coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent.” [11] These remarks caught the attention of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, a left-of-center social advocacy that Alexander Soros not only chairs, but was the group’s founding chair. [12] “Hey Taylor Swift,” the official Bend the Arc Twitter account wrote, “You have every right to be upset about others profiting off your music. But PLEASE don’t share antisemitic conspiracy theories about the Soros family. “Shameless greed” is a dog-whistle used against Jews. Your Jewish fans deserve better.” [13]

References

  1. “Bard College – NEWS ABOUT BARD COLLEGE.” LEON BOTSTEIN, July 2,  2016. www.leonbotstein.com/leon-botstein-music-room-9/category/Bard College. Archive: https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.leonbotstein.com/leon-botstein-music-room-9/category/Bard+College. ^
  2. Candid. “Soros, Open Society Award $60 Million to Bard College.” Philanthropy News Digest (PND), May 18, 2011. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/soros-open-society-award-60-million-to-bard-college. ^
  3. “George Soros – Open Society Founder and Chair.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/george-soros. ^
  4. “The Institute.” IWM, April 24, 2020. https://www.iwm.at/the-institute/. ^
  5. “Boards.” IWM, February 7, 2020. https://www.iwm.at/the-institute/boards/. Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20200329083604/https://www.iwm.at/the-institute/boards/. ^
  6. Limited, Alamy. “Stock Photo – Lord George Weidenfeld (Left) and George Soros at a Meeting of the IWM (Institut Fuer Die Wissenschaft Vom Menschen, English: Institute for Human Sciences) in Vienna.” Alamy. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://www.alamy.com/lord-george-weidenfeld-left-and-george-soros-at-a-meeting-of-the-iwm-institut-fuer-die-wissenschaft-vom-menschen-english-institute-for-human-sciences-in-vienna-weidenfeld-was-a-journalist-and-adviser-to-the-israeli-government-soros-appeared-particularly-as-an-investor-image216469162.html. Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20200427193250/https://www.alamy.com/lord-george-weidenfeld-left-and-george-soros-at-a-meeting-of-the-iwm-institut-fuer-die-wissenschaft-vom-menschen-english-institute-for-human-sciences-in-vienna-weidenfeld-was-a-journalist-and-adviser-to-the-israeli-government-soros-appeared-particularly-as-an-investor-image216469162.html. ^
  7. Beaumont-Thomas, Ben. “Taylor Swift Disowns New Live Album, Calling It ‘Shameless Greed’.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, April 24, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/24/taylor-swift-disowns-new-live-album-scooter-braun-big-machine. ^
  8. Lowe, Tiana. “Why Taylor Swift Has a Legitimate Beef with George Soros Family.” Washington Examiner, April 24, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/why-taylor-swift-has-legitimate-beef-with-george-soros-family. ^
  9. Taylor Swift Updates. “Taylor Swift Updates (@swiftsupdates).” Twitter. Twitter, April 23, 2020. https://twitter.com/swiftsupdates/status/1253409993858007041?s=20. ^
  10. Lowe, Tiana. “Why Taylor Swift Has a Legitimate Beef with George Soros Family.” Washington Examiner, April 24, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/why-taylor-swift-has-legitimate-beef-with-george-soros-family. ^
  11. Taylor Swift Updates. “Taylor Swift Updates (@swiftsupdates).” Twitter. Twitter, April 23, 2020. https://twitter.com/swiftsupdates/status/1253409993858007041?s=20. ^
  12. “Alexander Soros.” Alexander Soros – Open Society Foundations. Accessed April 27, 2020. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/boards/open-society-us-board/member/alexander-soros. Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20191027010937/https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/boards/open-society-us-board/member/alexander-soros. ^
  13. Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction).” Twitter. Twitter, April 24, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20200427134048/https://twitter.com/jewishaction/status/1253769294766321666?s=20. ^
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