Taylor Swift is calling on fans for help after accusing Scooter Braun, along with Scott Borchetta, of banning the singer from performing a medley of her OG hits at the AMAs. That wasn’t the only bombshell in her Twitter essay!
UPDATE (FRIDAY 11/15/19 AT 10:10 A.M. ET): After Big Machine’s statement in response to Taylor’s message, Taylor’s team released the following statement of their own: “The truth is, on October 28, 2019, at 5:17 p.m., the Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs from Big Machine Label Group sent Taylor Swift’s team the following: ‘Please be advised that BMLG will not agree to issue licenses for existing recordings or waiver of its re-recording restrictions in connection with these two projects: The Netflix documentary and The Alibaba ‘Double Eleven’ event.’ To avoid an argument over rights, Taylor performed three songs off her new album Lover at the Double Eleven event, as it was clear that Big Machine Label Group felt any televised performance of catalog songs violated her agreement. In addition, yesterday, Scott Borchetta, CEO and founder of Big Machine Label Group, flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix. Please notice in Big Machine’s statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post. Lastly, Big Machine is trying to deflect and make this about money by saying she owes them, but, an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years.”
UPDATE (FRIDAY 11/15/19 AT 8:30 A.M. ET) Big Machine Records has responded to Taylor’s claims about Scott and Scooter with the following statement: “As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record, in which we do not financially participate. The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career. We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward. We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this might get resolved. However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families. Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. When that happens, you will see that there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let’s not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.”
It’s interesting to note the wording of Big Machine’s statement, though. While they say, “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs,” they do not specify whether or not they told her she couldn’t perform her old songs on the AMAs. And while they note, “[At no point did we] block her Netflix special,” they do not specify whether or not they are allowing her to use performance footage of her old songs in the special.
ORIGINAL STORY: Taylor Swift’s beef with Scooter Braun, 38 — whom she previously called a “manipulative bully” — is not over yet. She was “grossed out” after the music manager acquired the masters to her first six albums in June of 2019, and the 29-year-old pop sensation is now claiming that Scooter and Big Machine Label Group’s founder/Taylor’s former label boss, Scott Borchetta, won’t let her perform any of the songs from these records at the American Music Awards on Nov. 24! “Guys — it’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honoring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony. I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show. Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would bere-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year,” Taylor revealed in a Twitter essay, shared on Nov. 14. As a refresher, Scott signed Taylor onto Big Machine Records when she was just 15 years old. She announced her decision to leave BMLG in Nov. 2018, and found a new home with Republic Records and Universal Music Group.
Along with the AMAs bombshell, Taylor dropped even bigger news: a Netflix documentary about the singer is in the works! “Additionally – and this isn’t the way I had planned on telling you this news — Netflix has created a documentary about my life for the past few years,” Taylor revealed to her Twitter fans. “Scott and Scooter have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film.”
Taylor then revealed the alleged ultimatum offered to her by Scott, whose record label (BMLG) was purchased by Scooter in a reported $300 million deal this past summer. “Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m both legally allowed to o and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun,” Taylor revealed. HollywoodLife has reached out to Scooter’s rep for comment.
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
Obviously, Taylor is not happy with those alleged terms, and feels like she’s being told to “be a good little girl and shut up.” She even declared that “this is WRONG,” pointing out the fact that neither Scooter nor Scott was involved in the song-writing process of albums like Reputation and Fearless. As a last resort, Taylor is now turning to fans, urging them to “let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.”
Taylor is even looking for help from “several artists” that Scooter managers whom she believes “care about other artists and their work,” and whom she also hopes “can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote.” That led Twitter fans to flood the pages of singers like Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato with pleas to stop supporting Scooter, who manages both pop stars.
Taylor still has a long wait ahead until she can head back into the recording studio to reclaim her work. The “ME!” singer revealed that she’ll be allowed to re-record her first five albums in Nov. 2020 while appearing on Good Morning America this past August. For now, she is continuing to fight for rights to her music — Taylor first voiced her horror over Scooter’s purchase of her former record label in a passionate post shared in June. “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,” Taylor explained in the essay. For Taylor, it was a nightmare to find out that Scooter would be the ultimate buyer, since he reps (and is close with) Justin Bieber and Kanye West, both whom Taylor has had public feuds with.