Taylor Swift has accused high-profile music manager Scooter Braun of bullying. The accusation follows the announcement on 30th June, that Braun has purchased Swift’s former record label, Big Machine Label Group for $300 million USD (approx £237 million). The acquisition will include the rights to Swift’s first six albums released between 2006 and 2017, and all of which went multiplatinum.
Following the announcement, Taylor took to blogging site Tumblr to express her distress regarding the sale, writing: “Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time [Big Machine Label Group’s now former owner] 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.”
Continuing the post, Taylor argued that after leaving Big Machine for Universal, she was unable to buy back the rights to her music: “For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. 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. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
Taylor also uploaded a photo which was used to accuse the music mogul of bullying and being complicit in feuds she had experienced with his former client, Kanye West, and current, longstanding client, Justin Bieber.
The photo, originally posted by Justin Bieber on his official Instagram account in 2016, shows Bieber on a video call with Scooter Braun and Kanye West with the caption: “Taylor Swift what up.”
Bieber apologised for the photo citing it as “distasteful and unfair” before responding to the rest of Taylor’s Tumblr post with a photo of himself and Swift together at the Teen Choice Awards in 2011.
View this post on Instagram
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..
In response to the claims made by Swift, the now-former owner of Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta, made a post on the label’s official website entitled “so, it’s time for some truths…”.
The post, which includes a screenshot outlining the terms of sale, also reveals the content of a text Borchetta had sent to Swift about the company’s sale to Scooter Braun prior to its official announcement via the Wall Street Journal.
In the message to Swift dated 9:06 pm on 29th June, Borchetta writes: “I wanted to pass along to you the same courtesy that you passed along to me in regard to my future. Tomorrow morning (Sunday, June 30th) at 10a central, the Wall Street Journal will announce that I am entering into a merger/acquisition with Scooter Braun and Ithaca Holdings. This move will give us more pop culture super-power than ever before and I’m so excited about the future. I want you to know that I will continue to be the proud custodian of your previous works and will continue to keep you and your team abreast of all future plans for releases of you work.”
Although Braun himself is yet to respond to the claims made by Swift, his wife, Yael Braun took to Instagram to defend him, writing: “Interesting that the man you’re so ‘grossed out’ by believed in you more than you believe in yourself,” she wrote. “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.”
Since Yael’s post, other supporters of Braun, including SB projects partner Allison Kaye and Bieber’s attorney, Aaron Rosenberg, have also come out to show their support against the claims made by Swift.