Taylor Swift Claims Scooter Braun Won't Let Her Perform Her Older Songs
By Paris Close
November 15, 2019
Update #2: (10:50 a.m.): Swift's rep, Tree Paine, has issued a response to Big Machine Label Group's statement below.
Update (9:53 a.m.): Big Machine Label Group has since issued a statement denying Swift's claims, which you can read down below.
The “Shake It Off” singer made this point clear when she took to Twitter last night (November 14) with allegations that both Braun, the current owner of her former label Big Machine Records, and its CEO Scott Borchetta are prohibiting the pop star from performing a medley of her older hits as she intended to do at this year’s American Music Awards.
"Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to next year," Swift, who is being honored at the 2019 AMAs with the Artist of the Decade Award on November 24, writes in a fervid open letter.
That's not all. The “ME!” musician revealed an upcoming Netflix documentary about her life in recent years has also been thwarted by Braun and Borchetta, whom she claims “have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project,” even though neither Big Machine nor its execs are mentioned in the film.
She then alleges Borchetta told her reps she would only be allowed to perform her older material “if I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I'm both legally allowed to do and looking forward to)” and if she agrees to “stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.” Under these terms, the 29-year-old feels she’s being forced to “shut up” or otherwise “be punished.”
In light of this, the 29-year-old is encouraging fans to “talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote” by reaching out to the artists whom Braun manages, which includes Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato.
"I've tried to work this out privately through my team, but have not been able to resolve anything," the songstress wrote in closing. "Right now, my performance at the AMAs, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I'm planning to play until November 2020 are a question mark."
From Tree Paine in response to Big Machine Label Group, via Twitter:
From Big Machine Label Group, via Billboard:
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.
Photo: Getty Images