Stars are speaking out in support of Taylor Swift following a heartbreaking letter to fans about the latest incident in the ongoing Scooter Braun/Scott Borchetta controversy. [If you're not familiar with the story, Scooter purchased Taylor's back catalog from Scott Borchetta (head of Big Machine Label Group & Taylor's former boss) for $300 million this past summer. She now needs their permission to perform her own music.]
Swift revealed that Braun & Borchetta are refusing to allow her to perform a medley of her greatest hits at the American Music Awards -- where she's being honored as the Artist of the Decade -- because the televised performance would be 're-recording' her old songs before she's legally allowed to in November of 2020. They have also allegedly denied her permission to use old performance footage in an upcoming Netflix documentary about her life and career -- unless she promises not to record new versions of her old songs in 2020 (which she has publicly expressed intent to do).
"The message being sent to me is very clear," Taylor wrote. "Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished. This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs.... I just want to be able to perform my OWN music. That's it."
As fans have mobilized to put pressure on Braun & Borchetta to reverse their decision, stars like Selena Gomez and Halsey have joined the #IStandWithTaylor movement. Check it out below.
Big Machine Label Group put out a statement early Friday morning denying Taylor's version of events.
As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.
The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career. We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward. We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this may get resolved. However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.
Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. When that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let’s not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.
Update #2: Taylor's team has released a statement.