Taylor Swift responded to Scooter Braun's open letter during her Billboard Woman of the Decade speech last night (12 December).
Swift and Scooter Braun have been arguing for a few months. Braun currently owns the masters to Swift's first six albums after acquiring Big Machine Records in June, When Swift found out about Braun taking over Big Machine, she wrote on Tumblr, "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."
She added, "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."
Since the initial Tumblr post, there has been a bit of back and forth with Swift revealing back in August that she's planning to re-record her early releases.
Earlier this month, Swift claimed that Braun and Scott Borchetta (CEO of Big Machine) had blocked her from performing her older songs at the American Music Awards, and claimed that Borchetta had given Swift's team a list of conditions to stick to, "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 also told my team that I need to stop talking about him [Borchetta] and Scooter Braun."
Big Machine Records denied Swift's claims of them blocking her from performing her old music soon after, writing, "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."
Last month, Braun addressed the feud in a Q+A, and then posted a statement on Instagram after his family received death threats. He wrote, "It almost feels like as if you have no interest in ever resolving the conflict."
Swift addressed the Braun conflict during her acceptance speech for last night's Billboard Woman of the Decade Award. She said, "After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I’m told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital, and that Carlyle Group. Yet, to this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me or my team directly - to perform their due diligence on their investment. On their investment in me. To ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, the music I wrote, the videos I created, photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs."
She added, "And of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced. I’m fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it, though, and let me just say that the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying “but he’s always been nice to me” when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their right to own their music. And of course he’s nice to you—if you’re in this room, you have something he needs. The fact is that private equity enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could "buy me". But I’m obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back and show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times, and I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever."