The entertainment world is still reeling from the big music industry drama this weekend, when Taylor Swift criticised talent manager Scooter Braun, who recently acquired her full back catalog, for what she called years of incessant bullying and manipulation. While many celebrities jumped to Swift’s defence, Justin Bieber, who was discovered by Braun and is currently managed by him, notably and very publicly took Braun’s side. Now, Bieber himself is getting accused of using his platform to harm his female collaborators — specifically, to hurt choreographer Emma Portner, who worked with Bieber on his 2016 Purpose World Tour.
“I regret working under your name,” Portner shared on her Instagram story Monday. “I gave your universe my naive body, creativity, time, and effort...For content that you made millions off of. While I made zilch...Barely anything. Less than minimum wage for the hours I invested.”
Portner went on to explain that, while working with Bieber, she couldn’t afford to eat and was sweeping studio floors for extra cash. (Bieber, however, earned more than $200 million for the tour, according to Forbes.) “The way you degrade women is an abomination,” Portner continued.
Justin Bieber’s #PurposeWorldTour choreographer/dancer, who also happens to be Ellen Page’s wife, slams the singer for allegedly paying her ‘less than minimum wage’ while working for him:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 1, 2019
"I couldn’t afford to eat. I was sweeping studio floors to be able to practice my craft." pic.twitter.com/Yb7VIziKFz
But Portner isn’t just upset about the money. Since January 2018, she’s been married to Ellen Page, who called out Australian mega-church Hillsong — and its slew of celebrity attendees, which include Bieber and his wife, Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) — for its “anti-LGBTQ” practices and rhetoric earlier this year.
Portner had some words for Bierber on this, too. “Your company hired an out lesbian in your music video, and to choreograph some content for your purpose world tour. How do you feel about that? A lesbian, HELPING YOU, for a disrespectful amount of money, as you attend a church that goes against my existence?”
Bieber has yet to reply to Portner’s allegations.
Refinery29 has reached out to reps for Bieber and Portner for comment.