In an explosive Tumblr post, Taylor Swift has called out Scott Borchetta for selling her music to Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun (who she calls a manipulative bully).
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Scott Borchetta has denied several of Taylor Swift's claims regarding the sale of her master recordings to Scooter Braun.
In a statement published on the Big Machine Label Group website, Borchetta claimed that Swift had been given several days notice of the business deal, contrary to what she wrote in her Tumblr post.
"Taylor’s dad, Scott Swift, was a shareholder in Big Machine Records, LLC. We first alerted all of the shareholders on Thursday, June 20th for an official shareholder’s call scheduled for Tuesday, June 25th. On the 6/25 call the shareholders were made aware of the pending deal with Ithaca Holdings and had 3 days to go over all of the details of the proposed transaction. We then had a final call on Friday, June 28th in which the transaction passed with a majority vote and 3 of the 5 shareholders voting ‘yes’ with 92% of the shareholder’s vote. Out of courtesy, I personally texted Taylor at 9:06pm, Saturday, June 29th to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me. I guess it might somehow be possible that her dad Scott, 13 Management lawyer Jay Schaudies (who represented Scott Swift on the shareholder calls) or 13 Management executive and Big Machine LLC shareholder Frank Bell (who was on the shareholder calls) didn’t say anything to Taylor over the prior 5 days. I guess it’s possible that she might not have seen my text. But, I truly doubt that she “woke up to the news when everyone else did."
Scott also attached the deal points of their official last offer to Taylor Swift to remain at Big Machine Records.
The CEO claimed that Taylor was given the chance to own everything to do with her career, including the master recordings.
"As you will read, 100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement...Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave."
Borchetta also denied seeing the pop-country artist upset over Scooter Braun and his clients.
"As to her comments about ‘being in tears or close to it’ anytime my new partner Scooter Braun’s name was brought up, I certainly never experienced that. Was I aware of some prior issues between Taylor and Justin Bieber? Yes. But there were also times where Taylor knew that I was close to Scooter and that Scooter was a very good source of information for upcoming album releases, tours, etc, and I’d reach out to him for information on our behalf."
In fact, the record executive states that Braun was a supporter of Taylor.
"Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor. He called me directly about Manchester to see if Taylor would participate (she declined). He called me directly to see if Taylor wanted to participate in the Parkland March (she declined). Scooter has always been and will continue to be a supporter and honest custodian for Taylor and her music."
Borchetta stated that his relationship with Taylor Swift was a positive one, even after the artist signed with Universal Music Group in November last year.
"Taylor and I remained on very good terms when she told me she wanted to speak with other record companies and see what was out there for her. I never got in her way and wished her well. The morning that the new Taylor/UMG announcement was going to be made, she texted me shortly before letting me know that the announcement was coming in a few minutes. As we both posted on our socials, we saluted each other and cheered each other on."
The Big Machine Group founder also included a text message from Swift on the day she made the Universal Group announcement.
I hope this finds you well. Since communication ran dry on our negotiations, I’ve done what I told you I would do and gone out exploring other options. Owning my masters was very important to me, but I’ve since realized that there are things that mean even more to me in the bigger picture. I had a choice whether to bet on my past or to bet on the future and I think knowing me, you can guess which one I chose. I also saw a rare opportunity to effect positive change for a lot of other artists with the leverage I have right now. I know you believe in the same things I do and I’d like to think you would be proud of what I’ve negotiated for in my deal. I wanted to tell you first that I’ll be signing with Lucian. I honestly truly cherish everything you and I have built together and I plan on saying so in my announcement of the new deal. What we accomplished together will be a lasting legacy and a case study on excellent partnerships, and may it continue. I still view you as a partner and friend and I hope you feel the same. Sending you a hug and my most sincere gratitude.
And SO much love,
In addition, Borchetta included the text he sent the Grammy-winner on the 29th of June.
Hope all is well and congratulations on the success of your first two singles from “Lover”!
I can’t wait to hear the entire album…
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.
Nothing but the best,
Borchetta signed off the post with a screenshot of the deal points.
The country-pop star took to Tumblr to detail her harrowing experience with Big Machine Label Group - which Scooter's business Ithaca Holdings has just taken over - explaining how the company was prohibiting her from owning her life's work.
"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," she wrote.
"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."
The Grammy award winner also went on to explain that she had no idea that Scooter Braun would be purchasing her musical legacy until the world knew.
"Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world."
Taylor also commented on how the record label manager had been bullying her for years, referencing the incident where Kim Kardashian leaked a recording of a phone call between Kanye West and Swift.
The artist included an image of Justin Bieber's Instagram post from the time, which featured a screenshot of a Facetime call between Scooter Braun, Bieber and Kanye West and the caption "Taylor swift what up."
Swift also pointed out that Kanye West, (incidentally another one of Scooter Braun's clients) had featured her nude body in one of his videos.
"All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his 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. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked."
Taylor explained that she believes her music is in the wrong hands and that she was only 15-years-old when she made the mistake of signing with Scott Borchetta.
"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.
"This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. 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 artist signed off the Tumblr post by cautioning young artists engaging in negotiations with record labels.
"Thankfully, I am now 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. 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.
"I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23.
Sad and grossed out,
Shortly after, Justin Bieber came to the defense of Scooter Braun through an Instagram post.
The 25-year-old shared a photo of himself with Taylor Swift, and initially apologised in the caption.
"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."
Justin then went on to defend Scooter Braun, accusing Taylor of being unfair and trying to rally her fans against the record label manager.
"I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshotted of Scooter and Kanye that said “Taylor swift what up” he didn't have anything to do with it and it wasn't 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."
The pop star signed off the post by stating that both he and the record label manager had a love for Taylor.
Justin also suggested talking in person to set aside any differences.
"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 forth online I don't 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."
Other artists and musical creatives have since come to the defense of Taylor Swift, including Halsey and Joseph Kahn.
Scooter Braun is yet to respond to Taylor's post, which has now created a #WeStandWithTaylor trend on Twitter.