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- Celebrities and music industry officials are responding to a feud between Taylor Swift and talent manager Scooter Braun.
- Braun acquired Big Machine Records and with it all of Swift’s previous music on Sunday – after Swift said she was “sad and grossed out” by the deal.
- Celebrities and music industry executives on Sunday clapped back at Swift, slamming her characterization of Braun and saying that her depiction of the conflict was untrue.
- Justin Bieber called out Swift on Instagram for “defacing” Braun’s character, while Demi Lovato and Sia called Braun “a good man.”
- Other celebrities, like Brendon Urie, Todrick Hall, and Halsey, stood by Swift.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Celebrities and music industry officials are taking sides in a feud between Taylor Swift and talent manager Scooter Braun.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Sunday that Braun – whose label Schoolboy Records manages artists like Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Ariana Grande – acquired Big Machine Records Label Group LLC in a deal worth more than $300 million. The acquisition also gives Braun ownership over Swift’s entire catalog to date, as Swift had been signed to Big Machine Records for 12 years before reaching a deal with Universal Music Group in November 2018.
Swift on Sunday responded to news of the deal on her Tumblr, saying that she was “sad and grossed out.”
“I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world,” Swift wrote. “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Sia defended Braun
- Jemal Countess/Getty Images
Celebrities and music industry executives on Sunday clapped back at Swift, slamming her characterization of Braun and saying that her depiction of the conflict was untrue.
Founder and chief executive of Big Machine Records Scott Borchetta responded to the incident on the label’s website in post titled “So, It’s Time For Some Truth...” in which he claims that Swift along with her father, a shareholder in the company, were notified of the deal before it was made public. He also said that Swift chose to leave the record company in 2018 and along with it, ownership over her discography.
“Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave,” he wrote.
Justin Bieber called out Swift on Instagram for “defacing” Braun’s character.
“I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone I loves character thats crossing a line,” he wrote.
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..
Erik Logan, former president of the Oprah Winfrey Network and a board member for Big Machine Records, posted a lengthy note on Twitter, in which he accused Taylor of “lying” about the situation. He then deleted the tweets, but screenshots are still available.
“For someone who draws such power from being the ‘voice’ and against all the things you talk about, I’m watching you violate what you allegedly stand for,” he wrote. “You’re the real bully.”
Braun’s wife, Yael Cohen Braun, wrote on Instagram that Swift passed on the opportunity to negotiate ownership over her music, and was notified of the deal before it was made public.
“The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers,” she wrote in the post, which was liked by Kacey Musgraves and Kendall Jenner. “You are supposed to be a role model but continue to model bullying.”
Demi Lovato, one of Braun’s clients, also posted on her Instagram story in defense of Braun.
“I have dealt with bad people in the industry and Scooter is not one of them,” she wrote. “He’s a good man.”
10. Wow! Now Demi Lovato is getting involved. She is a Scooter Braun client and posted this on her Instagram stories.
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) July 1, 2019
Sia also publicly supported Braun, tweeting “You’re a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly. I love you keep going. [sic]”
You're a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly.
I love you keep going.
— sia (@Sia) July 2, 2019
But other celebrities including Halsey and Brendon Urie took Taylor’s side
Several other celebrities are standing by Swift. Singer Todrick Hall, who was formerly managed by Braun, called him “homophobic” and “evil.”
“I am saddened by this news, but not shocked,” Hall wrote. “[Braun] 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.”
Being black and gay in this industry is hard as hell, and was even harder when I signed with that man and unless someone has walked in my shoes…I don't care to compare their experiences to mine. Period!
— Todrick Hall (@todrick) July 1, 2019
Singer Halsey tweeted that she was inspired by Swift to write her own music and was “standing by her.”
— h (@halsey) June 30, 2019
Brendon Urie, the Panic! At The Disco frontman and Swift’s “ME!” collaborator, addressed the situation in an expletive-filled livestream on Twitch, referring to Braun by name.
“What a piece of s—,” Urie said. “It broke my heart. I read Taylor’s statement and I was like, ‘This sounds about right,’ you know? Toxic dudes doing toxic s— in this toxic industry … It’s disgusting, right?”
According to Entertainment Tonight, several artists including Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Adele have reportedly unfollowed Braun on social media in the wake of the incident.
Gomez’s mother, Mandy Teefey, posted a screenshot of Swift’s Tumblr post on Instagram with a supportive caption saying she wishes she could give Swift “a big hug right now” and asking Braun’s wife to “have a mom to mom meeting in private, drink some tea and have some real talk!! XO [sic]”
View this post on Instagram
@Taylorswift I wish I could give you a big hug right now! Thank you for speaking out about this and teaching future young artist about protecting themselves. I don’t understand the pleasure of power plays to simply hurt people! To deny you the option to own your blood, sweat and tears, especially as a young women who shared growing up in front of the world, is heartbreaking!! @yael I would love to have a mom to mom meeting in private, drink some tea and have some real talk!! XO
Braun has only responded to say ‘context is everything’
Additionally, a petition on Change.org has popped up encouraging the singer to re-record her six previous albums and release them under Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. The petition has already garnered over 80,000 signatures since it was posted on Sunday morning.
Braun has not directly responded to the conflict, though he retweeted a post on Sunday which said: “Everyone has a story. Context is everything.”
Swift’s Tumblr likes show her actively agreeing with fans saying things like “Why does everything have to turn into a battle of how many people can i get to hate Taylor Swift? missing the point luvs [sic]”
Scooter Braun did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.