Billie Eilish is criticizing a popular practice that multiple musicians partake in, including Taylor Swift, for being unsustainable. Comparing it to The Hunger Games, the Oscar winner says “we’re all going to do it because [it’s] the only way to play the game.”

The practice Billie is referring to is when artists release several vinyl variants of the same record in order to drive sales and earn “them more money.”

“We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging,” she said during an interview with Billboard in March 2024. “Which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money and gets them more.”

While multiple artists are known for this practice, many internet users are connecting Billie’s call-out to Taylor, whose forthcoming album The Tortured Poets Department will be released on four different-colored vinyl editions, each of them containing a different bonus track to incentivize fans to buy all four.

“I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is,” the “Ocean Eyes” singer continued. “It is right in front of our faces and people are just getting away with it left and right, and I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable and do the best that I can and try to involve everybody in my team in being sustainable — and then it’s some of the biggest artists in the world making f–king 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more. It’s so wasteful, and it’s irritating to me that we’re still at a point where you care that much about your numbers and you care that much about making money — and it’s all your favorite artists doing that s–t.”

Billie has also partaken in the practice, however, in a more sustainable manner. She released her 2021 album Happier Than Ever in four vinyl variants – but they were manufactured from 100% recycled black vinyl and wrapped in a material made from sugar cane.

“I was watching The Hunger Games and it made me think about it, because it’s like, we’re all going to do it because [it’s] the only way to play the game. It’s just accentuating this already kind of messed up way of this industry working.”

A few days after her comments, the singer took to Instagram to clarify what she meant. “Okay so it would be so awesome if people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I said in that billboard article.”

“I wasn’t singling anyone out; these are industry-wide systemic issues,” she continued. “When it comes to variants, so many artists release them, including me, which ! clearly state in the article. The climate crisis is now and it’s about all of us being part of the problem and trying to do better sheesh.”

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