Music executive Scooter Braun just acquired Big Machine Label Group, the record company that owns Taylor Swift’s music. Swift is not happy.
The 29-year-old pop star penned a lengthy Tumblr post Sunday calling the deal her “worst case scenario,” accusing Braun of subjecting her to “incessant, manipulative bullying” for years and purchasing her music knowingly “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 Braun for comment.
Taylor Swift is unhappy with the sale of her music catalog to Scooter Braun, whom she calls a "manipulative bully." (Photo: Richard Shotwell, Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Swift cited examples of times when she had been publicly made fun of by Braun and his clients, including a 2016 Instagram post 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.”
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 (Big Machine CEO) 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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