Update 3:00 PM ET: Justin has thrown his support behind Scooter. Biebs reposted a TMZ article to his Instagram Story. The TMZ post has a Big Machine exec tell the publication that “Taylor Swift can 100% perform all of her catalog, past, and present, on the AMAs.” So, it seems Justin is sticking by Scooter.
Original: “I’m having a rough day, thought I’d share [and] remind you ur are not alone. Keep pushing,” Justin Bieber, 25, posted to his Instagram Stories on Nov. 14. While usually, this cryptic message would be disregarded as another bit of encouragement coming from the spiritually-minded Bieber. However, the message came mere hours after Taylor Swift, 29, unloaded on her music industry foe (and Justin’s manager) Scooter Braun, 38. Taylor, for those who missed it, accused Scooter and Big Machine Group’s founder Scott Borchetta of blocking her from playing her old music at the American Music Awards (which they have denied.) Fans were enraged by these accusations, and some weren’t in the mood for Justin’s motivational speeches.
“ik i’m gonna get laughed at for this but any justin mutuals if you believe taylor should be able to perform her own music that SHE WROTE pls tweet #BeliebersStandWithTaylor,” an irate fan tweeted. “all i’m gonna say is Justin bieber better keep his mouth shut unless his words are in support of taylor,” one fan tweeted, while another added, “I’m not surprised that any of Scooter’s female clients have not spoken out, only Justin Bieber weighed in on the situation although he sided with his manager.”
“How long until Scooter’s clients defend him publicly? Last time Justin posted an “apologize” to Taylor, and by the end of his post, he was blaming her for not remaining silent. Demi [Lovato] also defended Scooter. I fear Taylor won’t find much support from his clients.” The fan had a point: when Taylor first accused Scooter of “bullying” her, Justin defended his friend/manager/mentor.
Taylor did get a lot of support from many female artists after she made these accusations. Selena Gomez said that her “heart is so heavy right now” and she called Scooter and Scott’s alleged power move “greed manipulation and power.” Gigi Hadid said, “Scott and Scooter, you know what the right thing to do is. Taylor and her fans deserve to celebrate the music!!” Ruby Rose said that “this is not okay,” and Halsey said this drama “turns my guts that no matter how much power or success a woman has in this life, you are still susceptible to someone coming along and making you feel powerless out of spite.”
To recap: Taylor accused Scott and Scooter of preventing her from playing a medley of her old music – that Scooter owns since he purchased Big Machine Records’ back catalog for a reported $300 million in June – because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
She also claimed that Scott and Scooter “declined the use of my older music or performance footage” in an upcoming Netflix documentary. “Scott told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music if…I agree not to re-record copycat versions of my songs…[and] I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.”
Big Machine Records issued a statement on Nov. 15, denying these claims. “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. … 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.”