Taylor Swift turned to Tumblr Sunday to express how she felt disappointed and betrayed that her Big Machine catalog had been sold to a company owned by music manager Scooter Braun. “This is my worst case scenario,” Swift wrote.
On Sunday, Big Machine Label Group, Swift’s former label and the owner of her master recordings from her 2006 self-titled debut through 2017’s Reputation, was sold to Braun’s Ithaca Holdings as part of a $300 million deal, Billboard reported.
On Tumblr, Swift wrote that she was upset about the transaction not only because it prevented her from owning her own catalog but also because of who was purchasing the rights to her music.
“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,” Swift wrote.
“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.”
Swift then revealed why Braun acquiring her catalog is especially hurtful to her. “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,” Swift wrote.
“Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter 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.”
Swift also criticized Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta for making the deal with Braun, knowing the emotional impact it would have on her. “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,” Swift wrote.
“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.”
Braun and Borchetta did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Following Swift’s Tumblr post, fans and fellow artists aligned with the singer using the #IStandWithTaylor hashtag. Halsey also voiced her support for Swift on Twitter in a lengthy statement, “She deserves to own the painstaking labor of her heart.”
— h (@halsey) June 30, 2019
Read Swift’s entire Tumblr post below: