Taylor Swift took a break from promoting Lover and fighting for LGBTQ+ rights to drop a massive bombshell. Last night, she released a lengthy statement on her Tumblr account, responding to news that music manager Scooter Braun acquired her former music label, Big Machine Records. Hence, owning her whole music catalog from her debut self-titled album until her latest, Reputation.
Billboardreported that Scooter bought the label from Scott Borchetta for over $300 million. When the deal is completed, both Scooter and Scott will have an “independent music company powerhouse” that includes talents like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Lady Antebellum, and Reba McEntire. Even though Taylor had already moved to Universal Music Group, Big Machine still has the rights to ALL her music pre-Lover.
In her post, Taylor said she’s “pleaded for a chance to own my music,” and that she left Big Machine because she knew Scott would eventually sell the label—bringing her down with him. “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,” she wrote.
She also opened up about Scooter’s alleged bullying, citing he orchestrated the rifts between Taylor and the Wests. She also indirectly calls out Justin Bieber for his “what up” post in 2016 by using the screenshot as her post’s header.
After Taylor released her statement, many of the involved posted as well to rebuke her claims. But what’s gaining the most traction is Justin’s apology-slash-callout.
In an Instagram post, Justin apologized for the “hurtful Instagram post” in 2016. He later went after Taylor for accusing Scooter in her Tumblr post. “Neither [Scooter] or I have anything negative to say about you, we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this, but when you try and deface someone I [love’s] character, thats crossing a line,” he wrote.
Several fans weren’t buying Justin’s defense of his longtime manager. If proven true, Scooter’s move to acquire Big Machine and Taylor’s music could be seen as downright shady.
But the biggest criticism came from Taylor’s friend, Cara Delevingne. This is what she commented on Justin’s post: “I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions. As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened.”
So there is truth in Cara’s comment that Justin is most likely standing up for problematic men, when he shouldn’t. This was underlined by the fact that Justin deleted her comment. Guilty, much?
Back to Taylor: It’s true she’s made questionable decisions in the past (see: perceived white feminism)—Scooter’s wife, Yael Cohen Braun also brought up how she would “drop friends like wilted flowers.” She also claimed Taylor passed on buying her masters and that she was previously notified.
Regardless of whether Scooter did this to smite her or not, no artist should be screwed over for their hard work. We’re not just speaking for big-time artists like Taylor Swift, but also smaller talents that are still finding their footing in the creative world.
Lastly, we hope Justin takes Cara’s advice to “take a step back and try and learn from this.” He’s an artist too, he should at least be empathetic in this situation.