If you thought this feud was going to be resolved quickly, then you were gravely mistaken. The intense Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun drama has only gotten worse. Let’s summarize what’s been going on. On June 30, Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings LLC, acquired Big Machine Label Group– Taylor’s former label. When Taylor left the label, she had to leave behind the masters to her first six albums–but we’ll get into that later. When Braun purchased Big Machine to the tune of $300 million, he also became the owner of Swift’s entire music catalogue.
The Lover songstress claimed that she was blindsided by the deal, and in an open letter that she posted on Tumblr, she called the entire ordeal a “worst case scenario” for her. She said in part, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.” Taylor added, “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.” You can read the letter in full here.
Now that all of this is out in the open, celebrities across the music industry are choosing sides, and it’s just a massive ball of confusion at this point. Braun claims he had no idea Taylor felt this way, but his attempts to reach out to her have hit a brick wall.
Variety is reporting that Braun has tried to call Taylor multiple times, but the “You Need To Calm Down” singer refuses to return his phone calls. An insider told The Blast that the music executive wanted to discuss the deal at length with Swift and that he’s genuinely shocked by the public backlash. Apparently, he’s “very hurt” by the entire ordeal. They said, “[Braun] reached out through mutual friends Monday morning to engage in a ‘mature and private’ phone call with Swift. The main reason he purchased her catalogue is that he believes in her music and in her future.”
The sources go on to claim that Braun had no clue Taylor had any interest at this point in buying back her masters. The Fearless singer says she was never given the opportunity, while Braun’s wife, Yael Cohen, accused the singer of lying. She said that Taylor was given the opportunity to purchase them, but she passed.
There is so much to untangle here. From where we’re sitting, things seem to be more muddled in emotion than in pure truth. However, what Taylor said about artists having a voice is very important. In her letter, she said, “Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create,” she continued. “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.”
Hopefully, this will be resolved before it gets uglier.