Taylor Swift has strong words for Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta following the news that Braun’s Ithaca Holdings has agreed to acquire 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,” but according to a source, Swift’s camp has known about the acquisition since Tuesday (June 25), when Big Machine held a shareholders meeting to discuss the deal. Swift’s father, Scott Swift, owns a small stake in Big Machine (about 4%) and had an attorney for Swift’s management company call into the meeting, a source tells Billboard. Braun is buying out Swift’s stake as well as those of other minority shareholders.
She added 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,” she 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, and indicated 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 wrote.
“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.”
Several have spoken out in support of Swift since she published her statement, including Joseph Kahn, her frequent collaborator and music video director, and Halsey, who vowed to “stand with her.” Justin Bieber, one of Braun’s star clients, took to Instagram to first apologize to Swift for his previous offense on social media before defending Braun and telling her she was “crossing a line” in airing her grievances in such a public fashion.
Read Swift’s response in full below.