Taylor Swift Calls Scooter Braun a ‘Bully’ in Frustrated Letter About Record Label Purchase
Taylor Swift shared a personal letter regarding famed artist manager Scooter Braun after it was announced that he purchased her previous record label, Big Machine, for $300 million.
"For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift began her letter. “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. 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."
Swift went on to discuss her relationship with Braun. "Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years."
Along with the letter, Swift shared an image that Bieber posted on his Instagram of him FaceTiming Kanye West and Braun with a caption that read, "Taylor Swift what up." The screenshot was taken during the same time of Swift's highly publicized feud with West and Kim Kardashian, which inspired part of her last album, Reputation.
Swift explained the image she shared alongside with the letter: "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. 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."
The singer also called the Big Machine purchase her “worst case scenario.”
“This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen 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," she continued. "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."
Even though the purchase is an unfortunate turn for Swift, she is looking up.
“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,” she said.
“I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23.” Swift's signed her letter, "sad and grossed out."
Braun is an artist manager for Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Lil Dicky, among other artists. He is also the head of SB Projects which, according to their website, is a "diversified entertainment and media company with ventures integrating music, film, television, technology and philanthropy."