On Sunday, June 30, news broke that Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, has acquired Taylor Swift’s back catalog of music as part of his purchase of Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group. (Swift used to be one of the artists on Big Machine’s roster.) This wasn’t good news to Swift, who responded to the announcement with a Tumblr post.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in,” she writes. “I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
She goes on to explain that she only learned of the sale as the news broke widely, adding, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
Swift continues: “Like when Kim Kardashian [allegedly] orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter [allegedly] got his two clients together to bully me online about it… Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. 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.”
“This is my worst case scenario,” she says, later adding, “… When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”
You can read her full post on Tumblr.
Many took to Twitter in support of Swift after she posted on Tumblr, and #WeStandWithTaylor began to trend. “This is far from the first time a man has claimed ownership of a woman’s work and it sure won’t be the last, but the fact that someone of Taylor Swift’s stature STILL has to deal with this all-too-familiar male behavior is terrifying,” one user writes
“I’m tweeting for the first time in a year to say that Taylor Swift deserves better,” says another. “She’s a self made woman whose worked hard for everything she has, investing love, time and effort in a career she absolutely deserves. #WeStandWithTaylor”
Halsey also joined the conversation, writing on Twitter, “Taylor Swift is a huge reason why I always insisted to write my own music. I believed if she did it (in a way that made my teeth ache like cold water and my heart swell and my eyes leak) than I should too. Cause that’s how to make someone feel. To drag it from the pits of your heart. To offer it on a platter and say ‘take some but take it kindly.'”