It’s been a while since we heard about any real drama surrounding Taylor Swift. She hasn’t written any songs about her exes for a while, so they’re all safe. She’s simply been working on music, debuting some singles as she gears up to release her upcoming album, and doing that superstar thing. But this past weekend, things went down. Major things. And there looks to be no end in sight.
On Sunday, Scooter Braun (whom you may know as the manager of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Kanye West, among others) acquired the majority of Tay’s musical catalogue after his company, Ithaca Holdings, bought Big Machine Label Group, Swift’s former label, from Scott Borchetta for $300 million. Swift took to Tumblr to write a lengthy post about how, for years, she’s tried to acquire the rights to her own music from Big Machine, but was told that the only way that would happen was if she signed a new contract stipulating that for every new album she completed for Big Machine, she would get an old one in return. That obviously didn’t fly with Swift, so she made the tough choice to walk away and leave her past behind. Taylor left Big Machine in November 2018 and signed with Universal Music Group, which allows her to retain ownership of her masters.
But, according to the “Shake It Off’ singer, never in her worst nightmares did she think Braun, whom she puts on blast for all the “incessant, manipulative bullying” she’s received “at his hands for years,” would be the one who would end up owning her musical legacy. But that’s what happened and Taylor is trying to look forward—but it’s been tough. In her Tumblr, Swift puts a spotlight on a struggle so many musicians face as their careers climb: lousy deals made in hast or youthful ignorance that keep artists from owning their own work. “This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept,” she wrote. “And when that man says ‘Music has value,’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”
Because Swift used a screenshot of an August 2016 Instagram shot shared by Bieber in her Tumblr post, Justin took to Instagram to issue an apology about that old photo but also defend Scooter and explain how Scooter actually feels about Taylor and, really, the spiritual side of Biebs just wants everyone to get along.
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Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..
On the other hand, Scooter’s wife, Yael Cohen Braun, called the singer out, then told Swift she was “here to talk privately anytime.”
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On Sunday night, Borchetta himself addressed the back-and-forth with a bold move at transparency and shared “a few very important deal points” and a contract document on the Big Machine Label Group site. Titling the post, “So it’s time for some truth,” Borchetta went on to claim that he “certainly never experienced” Swift being “in tears or close to it” whenever Braun’s name was brought up and that she “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.” He also alleges her personally texted her on June 29 to let her know about the pending acquisition and provided copy of what he says is that text message. Swift responded with a statement to People, claiming she “found out from the news articles when she woke up before seeing any text from Scott Borchetta and he did not call her in advance.”
Meanwhile, Erik Logan, another member of Big Machine’s board of directors, also took issue with Swift, saying, “I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and allow you to re-write history and bend the truth to justify your lack of understanding of a business deal … I also find it very interesting you use the word bully. As I watch you attempt to re-write history and parse words, all from your massive platform, I’m reminded that’s what a real bully would do … You’re the real bully.”
According to TMZ, he added: “Your power is fading, you shine is dull and this is what bully’s do, they lash out.”
As for now, Us Weekly reports that Braun wants to open up the lines of communication with Swift. “Scooter is open to having a private conversation with Taylor to clear up everything that went down,” a source told the mag. “He reposted some messages of support on his Instagram Stories, but he has no intention of releasing a formal statement and blowing up the situation even more than it already has been. This is between Scooter and Taylor, not the world.” Stay tuned.