Taylor Swift slammed music executive Scooter Braun. Justin Bieber and Braun’s wife defended the music executive
Taylor Swift penned a lengthy Tumblr post Sunday criticizing Scooter Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Label Group (and with it, her entire existing catalog of music). Now other stars are weighing in on the controversy.
The 29-year-old pop star called the deal her “worst case scenario,” accusing Braun of subjecting her to “incessant, manipulative bullying” for years and “controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated” with him.
“Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world,” Swift wrote. “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Swift and Braun for comment.
The music executive’s wife, Yael Cohen Braun, slammed Swift in an Instagram post Sunday, claiming she was “given the opportunity” to own her music but passed.”Your dad is a shareholder and was notified, and (Big Machine CEO Scott) Borchetta personally told you before this came out,” she wrote. “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.”
In the Tumblr post, Swift also cited examples of times when she had been publicly made fun of by Braun and his clients, including a 2016 Instagram photo from Justin Bieber in which the pop star can be seen FaceTiming Braun and Kanye West, with the caption “Taylor Swift what up.”
Bieber shared the post just days after Kim Kardashian West posted the infamous phone call recording that sparked Swift’s entire “Reputation” album era. (“Look What You Made Me Do” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” are widely speculated to be about the Kardashian/ West couple.)
“This is Scooter Braun, bullying me on social media when I was at my lowest point. He’s about to own all the music I’ve ever made,” Swift wrote. “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.”
Bieber responded Sunday night with an old photo of him and Swift, apologizing for “posting that hurtful instagram post” before criticizing her decision to take up her issues with Braun publicly.
“Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you!” Bieber wrote. “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… I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line.”
Demi Lovato also defended Braun, calling him a “good man” on her Instagram Story.
“Personally, I”m grateful he came into my life when he did,” she wrote. “Please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in the world as it is.”
Toddrick Hall, Swift’s friend who performed in her “You Need to Calm Down” and “Look What You Made Me Do” music videos, said he had previously left Braun’s management and was “saddened… but not shocked” about the controversy.
“He is an evil person who’s only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego,” Hall tweeted. “I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan.”
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.
— Todrick Hall (@todrick) June 30, 2019
Singer Halsey voiced her support for Swift on Sunday night, calling her a “huge reason why I always insisted to write my own music” and lamented the idea that Swift would not be able to “own the painstaking labor of her heart.”
“It 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,” Halsey wrote. “It speaks volumes to how far we have to come in the music industry… I am standing with her.”
Rapper Iggy Azalea also defended Swift against Yael Braun’s accusations, arguing on Twitter that even finding out “days before” a deal goes public would be too late for an artist.
“(That) means the deal was already done & she never had the opportunity to even make a bid to own her own work,” she wrote. “These deals take months to negotiate in long form.”
Braun’s purchase of Big Machine Record means he’ll retain ownership of Swift’s previous six studio albums, from her 2006 self-titled country debut to 2017’s edgy pop album “Reputation.”
Swift said she had previously “made peace” with the idea that her work would eventually be sold, but with Braun at the helm, she is no longer comfortable.
“Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter,” she wrote. “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.”
Swift moved last year from Big Machine to Universal Music Group, which will release Swift’s upcoming album, “Lover.” She said she’s thankful to now be “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,” Swift continued. “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.”
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