Taylor Swift Slams Scooter Braun For Buying Her Music Catalog
Music executive Scooter Braun just acquired Big Machine Label Group, the record company that owns Taylor Swift’s music, and Swift is not happy.
In a scathing Tumblr post Sunday, Taylor writes she is "sad and grossed out" that her music catalog now belongs to Braun, who she accuses of subjecting her to years of incessant and manipulative bullying, referencing clashes with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. "This is my worst case scenario," Swift writes.
Braun’s Ithaca Holdings announced Sunday that it is acquiring Big Machine, which released all of Swift’s studio albums and owns her masters, as part of a $300 million deal. Swift says she learned of the sale Sunday. Swift left Big Machine and signed with Universal Music Group in November because she says she knew that re-signing with the group that had managed her since she was 15 would only result in her not owning her future work.
"I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta (founder of BMLG) would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future," she wrote. "I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them," she wrote. "Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter."Braun, she alleges, got two clients, including Justin Bieber, to bully her online about a leaked and illegally recorded snippet of a phone call she had with Kardashian. She also references when West, a Braun client, organized a "revenge porn music video which strips my body naked."
She writes that now Braun has "stripped her" of her life’s work that she "wasn’t given an opportunity to buy." "My musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it," she writes.
In a statement posted Sunday night on the Big Machine Label Group’s website, Borchetta said he told Swift’s father, Scott Swift, and other shareholders on June 25th of the upcoming deal with Ithaca Holdings. Borchetta said he texted Taylor about the deal on Saturday "to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me."
"I guess it might somehow be possible that her dad Scott, 13 Management lawyer Jay Schaudies (who represented Scott Swift on the shareholder calls) or 13 Management executive and Big Machine LLC shareholder Frank Bell (who was on the shareholder calls) didn’t say anything to Taylor over the prior 5 days. I guess it’s possible that she might not have seen my text. But, I truly doubt that she ‘woke up to the news when everyone else did,’" Borchetta said.
Borchetta also provided a screenshot of what he says is the last contractual offer he made to Taylor for her to stay with Big Machine before she decided to leave the label and sign with Universal Music Group, which she did in November of last year. As Borchetta notes, the contract shows that "100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement." That included her back catalog. Borchetta added, "Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave."
Borchetta also noted that Braun invited Taylor to perform at his client Ariana Grande’s massive One Love Manchester charity concert in June, 2017 following the Manchester, England terrorist bombing, and says she declined. He also claims Taylor turned down Braun’s invitation to participate in the "Parkland March" –referring to the "March for Our Lives" gun control demonstration that took place in March of 2018. Borchetta ends his post with: "And, that’s the truth..."
Bieber responded in an Instagram post late Sunday apologizing for hurting her at the time, and also defending Braun who he says, "didn’t have anything to do with it" and has her back. "For you to take it to social media and get people to hate on (S)cooter isn’t fair," Bieber wrote.
Braun’s wife, Yael Cohen, also chimed in on Instagram refuting Swift’s claim that she found out the news with the rest of the world. "Your dad is a shareholder and was notified and Borchetta personally told you before this came out," Cohen alleges. "My husband is anything but a Bully."
Swift ended her post looking to the future and says she thankfully "signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create." She also advocates for artist ownership of songs and hopes that the next generation will "read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation." "I will always be proud of my past work," she added, making sure to also plug her new album, Lover which will be released on August 23rd.
Since her post on Tumblr went up on Sunday, a number of artists have sided with Taylor. Among them is Halsey, who shared a lengthy post explaining why Swift inspired her to write her own music.
"Taylor Swift is a huge reason why I always insisted to write my own music," she wrote. "I believed if she did it (in a way that made my teeth ache like cold water and my heart swell and my eyes leak) than I should too."
Selena Gomez’s mother, Mandy Teefey, also weighed in, reposting an image of Swift’s post along with some strong words of encouragement. "I wish I could give you a big hug right now!" she wrote. "Thank you for speaking out about this and teaching future young artist about protecting themselves. I don’t understand the pleasure of power plays to simply hurt people! To deny you the option to own your blood, sweat and tears, especially as a young women who shared growing up in front of the world, is heartbreaking!! XO!!
Additionally, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Adele have all supposedly unfollowed Braun on social media in the hours since Swift shared her post. Ariana Grande quietly deleted her post congratulating him on acquiring Big Machine Records.
Demi Lovato took to her Instagram story to stand up for Braun – although without going so far as to slam Swift’s post or her comments.
"I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them. He’s a good man. Personally, I’m grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in this world as it is," Lovato wrote, adding in a following post, "Y’all can come after me all you want but I’m always gonna stay loyal to my team. I value loyalty more than most people in this world and if my name is gonna be brought into conversations I’m gonna stand up for myself and the ones on my team."
Since Swift’s post, a petition has appeared on Change.org, which suggests the singer should rerelease her first six albums under Republic Records, effectively cutting out Braun. At press time, the petition had over 94,000 signatures, supposedly including Katy Perry.