Taylor Swift has posted a lengthy Tumblr message in response to the news that Scooter Braun has purchased her master recordings in the process of buying the record label Big Machine Records.
E! News reported that the "Lover" singer posted the open letter in response to a since-deleted Instagram post made by Justin Biber. Braun is Bieber's long-time manager.
According to the singer's Sunday post, she said she asked for years to own her own work before leaving Big Machine for Universal Music Group in November 2018.
"Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in," Swift wrote. "I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, (Big Machine Records CEO) Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.
"Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.
"This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.
"When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.
"Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create. Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.
"I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23."
Billboard reported that Borchetta will acquire a minority interest in Ithaca and join its board. He will remain president and CEO of BMLG.
Bieber took to Instagram to defend Braun, taking time to apologize for his initial Instagram post on the news.
"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," he wrote. "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."
Since then, a number of Swift's famous friends have commented in defense of Swift and against Braun, including Cara Delevingne, Toderick Hall, Halsey and music video director Joseph Kahn.
Bieber wasn't the only one defending Braun. People reported that Yael Cohen Braun, his wife, accused Swift of throwing a temper tantrum "because you didn't get your own way."
"I have never been one for a public airing of laundry, but when you attack my husband… here we go," she wrote in a lengthy Instagram post Sunday.
"You were given the opportunity to own your masters, you passed. Interesting that the man you’re so ‘grossed out’ by believed in you more than you believe in yourself,” Yael wrote. “Your dad is a shareholder and was notified and Borchetta personally told you before this came out. So no, you didn’t find out with the world.
"And girl, who are you to talk about bullying? The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers. My husband is anything but a bully, he’s spent his life standing up for people and causes he believes in ... Beyond that, it’s easy to see that the point of putting this out was to get to bully him. You are supposed to be a role model, but continue to model bullying.”
Borchetta responded to Swift's claims in a lengthy post of his own on Big Machine Label Group's website, saying that he contacted Swift about the sale and that members of her team, including her father and lawyer, already knew about it. He also included what he says were copies and transcripts of conversations he's had with Swift and others, indicating she knew about the sale.
"Out of courtesy, I personally texted Taylor at 9:06 pm, Saturday, June 29th to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me," Borchetta wrote.
"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.'"
Cox Media Group