Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun

Emily Garry, Staff Writer

You may have heard of the famous pop artist, Taylor Swift, who started her career at a young age by writing songs in her bedroom. Little did she know what position she would eventually gain in the music industry, winning numerous Grammys throughout her life and accumulating one of the biggest fan groups in music, referred to as “Swifties.” But you may not know about the recent drama Swift has found herself in, and the amount of backlash a certain music producer faces for it. 

At age fifteen, Taylor Swift signed with the record company known as Big Machine Records which was founded by Scott Borchetta in September 2005. She released her self-titled debut album with the company along with every other album she’s made, excluding Lover, which was created under Republic Records. That accumulates to thirteen years of work, and six albums that she released with the company. Her last album with Big Machine was Reputation, which coincided with the birth of a “New” Taylor. At the end of 2018 her contract with Big Machine ended. She choose to not renew that contract and she signed with Republic Records

You may be wondering how Scooter Braun is involved in all of this drama, since he wasn’t the initial founder of Big Machine Records. Scooter Braun represents many stars, including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, under his own production company, SB records (School Boy Records) which is held by another one of Braun’s companies, Ithaca Ventures. In June 2019, Braun purchased Big Machine Records for a whopping three hundred million dollars, giving him ownership over the company and the records it had produced, that including Taylor Swift’s albums and singles she released before her departure from the company in 2018. 

Unfortunately, this exchange prompted the start of a massive conflict between the two music figures. On the day it was announced that Braun gained ownership of Big Machine, Swift released a statement on her Tumblr account that she was disturbed by the deal, saying she was “Sad and grossed out.” She explained how this was her “worst case scenario” and she even mentioned that Braun was associated with nightmares for her.  The drama doesn’t stop there, however. The feud between them only intensified when Swift requested that her loyal fans do something for her. 

On November 14th, Swift posted an open letter to her social media accounts which stated that Braun and Scott Borchetta had forbid her from using her old music in performances and a new Netflix documentary she explained was being filmed. Swift also addressed that she was told that she wasn’t allowed to perform her old songs at the American Music Awards. Swift planned on performing a medley of her songs, since she was being honored as Artist of the Decade. Swift voiced her disdain and said, “I just want to be able to perform my own music.” Swift also called upon her fans to do something for her: “Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.” The “Swifties” delivered and the topic was soon trending worldwide on Twitter. Multiple celebs also came to Swift’s defense, including Gigi Hadid and Lily Allen. 

Big Machine responded on November 15 with a statement claiming Swift’s allegations were false and that she was allowed to perform her music live: “Taylor, the narrative you’ve created does not exist.”  Scooter Braun also responded to the situation himself, posting on Instagram that Swift’s posts have caused him, his family, and his employees to receive threats: “Since your public statement last week there have been numerous death threats directed toward my family.”  

The situation is certainly filled with drama and ups and downs, but it also makes you question the morals and the character of the people involved. The ordeal has definitely left an impact on the music industry and made followers of musicians wonder what is really going on behind the scenes.