A full timeline of the Taylor Swift, Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber drama
1 July 2019, 17:02 | Updated: 1 July 2019, 17:54
Artists including Halsey and Demi Lovato have waded in on the news.
Yesterday (Jun 30), it was revealed that music mogul Scooter Braun (manager of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West) has brought Big Machine Records. Big Machine Records is most famous for signing Taylor Swift when she was just 15-years-old. Taylor left the label last year but Big Machine still owns the masters to all her music from before 2019. This means that Scooter now owns all her previous work.
Taking to Tumblr last night, Taylor called out Scooter for bullying her and called out the music industry at large.
What did Taylor Swift say in her Tumblr post?
Taylor opened her Tumblr post explaining why she left her previous label: "For years I asked pleaded for a chance to own my work. 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. "
Taylor then revealed that Scooter Braun, who manages Justin and Ariana, now owns all of her past masters. She also claimed that Scooter has bullied her throughout her career: "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."
Expanding on the bullying, Taylor made reference to Scooter making fun of her (with Justin Bieber and Kanye West), after Kim Kardashian said that Taylor lied about not knowing about Kanye singing about her in 'Famous' before he released it. Kim also shared a recorded phone call of Kanye telling Taylor about the song and discussing it before he put it out.
Taylor continued: "When I left my masters in Scott’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."
How did Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber respond?
As it stands, Scooter is yet to publicly respond to Taylor's statement. However, Justin Bieber has taken to Instagram to reply to Taylor's bullying claims and defend Scooter. Justin wrote: "Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful Instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive." Justin then explained Scooter never made fun of her: "he was the person who told me not to joke like that".
Justin then went on to suggest that Taylor's post has encouraged her fans to now bully Scooter. "For you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog?" Justin added: Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed."
"Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you."
View this post on Instagram
Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. 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 loves character thats crossing a line..
How did the music industry react?
Since Taylor published her Tumblr post, many celebrities have taken to social media to applaud Taylor for speaking up about her situation. In an essay, Halsey tweeted: "It turns my guts that no matter how much power or success a woman has in this life, you are still susceptible to someone coming along and making you feel powerless, out of spite". She ended the post by writing: "I am standing with her".
Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus reportedly unfollowed Scooter on Instagram and Taylor's friend and artist Todrick Hall called Scooter "evil" and "homophobic" on Twitter. This led Demi Lovato to defend Scooter (her new manager) writing: "“I have dealt with bad people in the industry and Scooter is not one of them.”
She also responded to Todrick's "homophobic" accusations saying "I can guarantee you Scooter isn’t."
For those asking, I left Scooter Braun a long time ago...I am saddened by this news, but not shocked. He is an evil person who’s only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan.— Todrick Hall (@todrick) June 30, 2019
#DemiLovato defends #ScooterBraun from #TodrickHall’s claims that he’s homophobic:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 1, 2019
“Idk you or anything and this isn’t hate, but making claims that someone is homophobic is really serious. Please don’t spread information that isnt true because I can guarantee you Scooter isn’t.” pic.twitter.com/R7dfn3HKxD
Elsewhere Scoooter's wife, Yael Braun has called out Taylor, writing: “Girl, who are you to talk about bullying? The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers.”
Selena Gomez' mum Mandy Teefey has responded to Yael though writing: "Yael I would love to have a mom to mom meeting in private, drink some tea and have some real talk!!”
She also showed her support for Taylor on Instagram.
Scooter Braun’s wife, Yael takes to Instagram to “get the facts straight” regarding Taylor Swift’s Tumblr post:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 30, 2019
”You were given the opportunity to own your masters, you passed.” pic.twitter.com/AB8OBaBpRZ
.@SelenaGomez’s mom, Mandy Teefey, shows her support for Taylor Swift, also addresses Scooter Braun’s wife after she wrote a lengthy post slamming Taylor:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 1, 2019
“@Yael I would love to have a mom to mom meeting in private, drink some tea and have some real talk!!” pic.twitter.com/U76fZBp34n
Has Taylor Swift said anything since her initial post?
Taylor hasn't publicly said anything since posting her initial Tumblr post. However, she has liked multiple Tumblr posts which criticise Justin and Scooter. One in reference to Justin's "we haven't gotten to communicate our differences" comment says "you cheated on her best friend and then publicly sided with the man who made revenge porn against her. was she supposed to invite you over for tea??? Fuck outta here."
Taylor Swift has liked these Tumblr posts about Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun. pic.twitter.com/aepoK74j2l— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 1, 2019
Obviously Taylor's situation is very specific and there are lots of details to it which are worth discussing. That being said her comments about music contracts and the ways in which young women are forced to sign their lives away before they have any significant understanding of contractual law are extremely important. This should not happen.
There is no doubt that Taylor should own all of her own masters. Hopefully her comments will help ensure that other female artists can own theirs.