Hours after Taylor Swift penned a strongly worded open letter calling out Scooter Braun and her former record label Big Machine, the company’s founder, Scott Borchetta, is weighing in.
In her post, Swift claimed that she’s been trying to gain control and ownership over her master recordings “for years” but that she was instead “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.”
The singer — who left Big Machine Records for Universal Music Group late last year — also claimed that she only found out that Braun’s holding company had bought Big Machine, and thus owned her masters, on Sunday morning “as it was announced to the world.”
According to a post on the label’s website, Borchetta alleges that Swift misrepresented the truth in her post.
“In regard to a post earlier today from Taylor, it’s time to set some things straight,” Borchetta began, before arguing that Swift’s father, Scott Swift, is a shareholder at the record label and was thus made aware of the sale five days before it was announced.
Additionally, Borchetta claims he personally texted Swift to let her know about the sale Saturday evening.
However, a spokesperson for Swift refuted both of those claims on Monday in a statement.
“Scott Swift is not on the board of directors and has never been. On June 25, there was a shareholder phone call that Scott Swift did not participate in due to a very strict NDA that bound all shareholders and prohibited any discussion at all without risk of severe penalty,” Swift’s spokesperson said. “Her dad did not join that call because he did not want to be required to withhold any information from his own daughter.”
“Taylor found out from the news articles when she woke up before seeing any text from Scott Borchetta and he did not call her in advance,” the statement continued.
Regarding Swift’s claims that she was told she’d have to “earn” her albums back, Borchetta shared what he claimed were deal points that they’d agreed upon during negotiations before Swift left for Universal Music Group.
“As you will read, 100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement. We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time,” Borchetta said, pointing to the fact that Swift’s new contract would have potentially locked her in at Big Machine Records for another ten years. “We are an independent record company. We do not have tens of thousands of artists and recordings. My offer to Taylor, for the size of our company, was extraordinary.”
“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 added.
In her lengthy post on Tumblr on Sunday, Swift also made multiple claims about Braun, alleging that he had bullied her for years and alleged he used his clients, Justin Bieber and Kanye West, to do so.
“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,” Swift wrote.
The singer called the reported $300 million deal — in which Braun also won the roster of Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire and more — her “worst case scenario.”
“When I left my masters in [Big Machine CEO] Scott [Borchetta’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,” she claimed.
In Borchetta’s rebuttal, he claims to have “certainly never experienced” seeing Swift in tears regarding Braun, and seemed to throw shade at Swift for having not participated in two high-profile charity concerts, One Love Manchester and a benefit performance following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“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 wrote.
Since Swift’s post, dozens of celebs have seemingly weighed in, with Cara Delevingne and Todrick Hall actively speaking out in defense of the 29-year-old singer, and Justin Bieber and Braun’s wife, Yael, delivering scathing posts in defense of him.
Braun himself has remained silent, apart from a celebratory Instagram pic, posted before Swift’s message, where he announced the news.
“Genuinely grateful for my new partner @scott.borchetta and the entire @bigmachinelabelgroup team. We together at Ithaca are going to do amazing things and our hope is to give every artist the tools they need to succeed in all arenas. Thank you again for the trust Scott. Let’s get it!” Braun wrote, alongside a photo of himself and Borchetta.
However, Borchetta appeared to throw some shade at Swift, commenting hours after posting his rebuttal, “More excited than ever after today!”
See more on Swift in the video below.
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