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Taylor Swift has strong words for Scooter Braun and Big Machine Label Group founder Scott Borchetta following the news that Braun’s Ithaca Holdings has acquired Big Machine Label Group, and with it the entire catalog she released through Borchetta’s label.
In a statement she wrote on Tumblr, Swift outlined exactly why she’s deeply upset with the development and directly addressed Braun and Borchetta in the process. She notes that she learned of the deal “as it was announced to the world,” and that the news immediately brought her back to “the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at [Braun’s] hands for years.”
“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,” Swift continued. “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.”
She goes on to refer to the acquisition as her “worst case scenario,” and calls Borchetta’s loyalty into question, indicating that he knew how Swift felt about Braun. (Billboard has reached out to reps of Braun, Borchetta and Swift for comment.)
“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 writes. “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.”
The singer’s post generated swift responses. Braun’s wife, Yael Cohen Braun, claimed on Instagram that Swift knew of the deal beforehand, despite the singer’s claims to the contrary. Borchetta backed that up in his response, saying that Taylor Swift’s father, Scott Swift, is a shareholder in Big Machine and was notified of a call with shareholders taking place June 25. They had three days to review the terms of the deal and voted Friday, with three of the five shareholders voting in favor of the transaction. (Swift’s rep denied Borchetta’s claim, telling People the singer learned of the news when she woke up to news articles.) Borchetta posted the text message he received from Taylor Swift when she decided to leave Big Machine, followed by the text message he says he sent to her on June 29.
David Geffen weighed in while speaking with the New York Times for a piece published on Monday. The media mogul — who founded several record labels and co-founded DreamWorks Pictures — defended Braun.
“This kind of deal is neither unusual or controversial,” said Geffen, who Braun has frequently described as a mentor. “She didn’t want to put up $300 million. Someone else did. They offered her a deal that she rejected to get ownership of her masters. Only time will tell who made the wise decision.”
Added Geffen, “I’m betting that Scooter will build an important company with the addition of this asset.”
Justin Bieber also defended Braun, while Halsey tweeted her support for Swift. And Demi Lovato posted a statement to her Instagram Story defending Braun. (Braun manages both Bieber and Lovato). “I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them. He’s a good man. Personally, I’m grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in this world as it is,” Lovato wrote, adding that she stands up for people on her team.
Defending Swift were a number of stars, including Cara Delevingne.
Delevingne, who starred in the pop star’s “Bad Blood” music video, showed her support on Monday morning. On instagram, the actress and model shared a screenshot of her response to Hailey and Justin Bieber, who support Braun.
“I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions,” Delevingne responded to the couple. “Take a step back and try and learn from this. We should all be on the same team.”
On top of the screenshot, Delevingne wrote, “Love you @taylorswift.”
Also showing support for Swift via Twitter was Cher. On Sunday the singer said she could relate to Swift’s current position. She encouraged the pop star under fire to continue being strong and to keep up the fight.
“PULL UP UR BIG-GIRL G-STRING, PULL ON UR RHINESTONE COMBAT BOOTS, KICK SOME ASS & REMEMBER YOU ARE A RICH MAN,” Cher tweeted.
Todrick Hall, who co-produced Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” music video, took to Twitter to defend the singer, calling Braun “an evil person” and writing that “I truly hope that justice is served and my friend’s music will fall into the hands of a better human.”
He added: “For those asking, I left Scooter Braun a long time ago…I am saddened by this news, but not shocked. He is an evil person who’s only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan.”
Iggy Azalea also weighed in on the news, tweeting that Braun had done the “dirty” on Swift and extolling the virtues of owning your own masters. “And this is why I’m so happy to own my master for this new album, they really do ppl crazy dirty on ownership of their intellectual property in the biz,” Azalea tweeted.
Meanwhile, Panic at the Disco frontman Brenden Urie, who is featured on Swift’s single “ME!”, defended the singer in a live stream. “Scooter Braun… Like what a piece of s—t right? You guys know this dude? It just like broke my heart. I read Taylor’s statement and I was like, ‘that sounds about right.’ Toxic dudes doing toxic bullshit in this toxic industry.”
Read Swift’s post in full below.
A version of this article was originally published by Billboard.
July 1, 6 a.m. Updated with responses.
7:30 a.m. Updated with Lovato response.
1:52 p.m. Updated with Geffen’s quotes to the New York Times.
2:01 p.m. Updated with Delevingne, Hall, Cher and Azalea responses.
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