Taylor Swift condemned talent manager Scooter Braun and his acquisition of her back catalog in a lengthy Tumblr post on Sunday, calling him a “manipulative bully” and the $300 million deal her “worst case scenario.”
Braun, who represents a number of stars including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande acquired Big Machine Records as part of a $300 million deal, Billboard reports. The deal includes Swift’s master recordings from her 2006 self-titled debut album through 2017’s reputation, and Swift didn’t hold back on her thoughts on both Braun and the deal in her post. Refinery29 has reached out to reps for both Braun and Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta for comment.
The singer recalled years of pleading to own her masters, the first recording of a song from which all other copies are made, and expressed her disappointment at learning of the news that hers had been sold.
“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.”
Swift then explained that she had to make the “excruciating choice” to leave her past behind when she left the label. “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 wrote. According to Swift, she learned of the label’s purchase at the same time as the rest of the world.
Swift then explained why she was so upset about the deal. “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at [Braun’s] 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.
“This is my worst case scenario,” she added.
Swift also called out Borchetta and his “loyalty” in her post. “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,” she 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.”
Swift ended the post on a grateful note, advising other creators out there to protect themselves and negotiate, as she has done herself since leaving Big Machine Records: “You deserve to own the art you make.”