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The drama between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun has pulled a lot of celebrities into its orbit.
Over the weekend, Swift posted a lengthy update to Tumblr about her masters, which music manager Scooter Braun purchased for $300 million from her former label Big Machine Label Group. She said she “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.” Part of that past bullying, she says, came from Braun associates Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Swift’s defenders quickly descended, firing up various fan accounts. Swift also called out Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta for selling the masters to Braun: “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.” Borchetta posted a rebuttal to the Big Machine website, saying he was never aware of any issues between Swift and Braun and that Swift had the chance to control her masters but walked away. He also posted a text message he sent to Swift the day before the sale giving her a heads up.
After Braun’s wife posted a defense of her husband, some fans noticed that singer Kacey Musgraves liked the post, and started digging into her. She reportedly blocked them. Katharine McPhee faced a similar front for her support for Braun.
Braun’s longtime client Justin Bieber posted a catty Instagram post (which Swift included in her Tumblr post) then apologized for it, saying he thought it was funny “at the time.” Cara Delevingne swooped into the comments to address Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin, who called her husband a “gentleman” for apologizing to Swift: “I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions.”
View this post on Instagram
Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..
A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on
Demi Lovato, a new client of Braun’s, posted to Instagram to defend him and ask for the “bullying” to stop. Todrick Hall, who appears in Swift’s video for “You Need to Calm Down,” shot back and talked about his own experience with Braun, saying he’s an “evil person” and also homophobic.
For those asking, I left Scooter Braun a long time ago...I am saddened by this news, but not shocked. He is an evil person who’s only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan.— Todrick Hall (@todrick) June 30, 2019
I would normally not say anything because I’m sure scooter will threaten me like he has before to keep me quiet, but guess what Scooter, nothing you can do to me would be worst than the 6 years of my life I can’t get back from when & I was ignored as your “artist”— Todrick Hall (@todrick) July 1, 2019
Halsey showed her support for Swift, posting that “it turns my guts that no matter how much power or success a woman has in this life, you are still susceptible to someone coming along and making you feel powerless out of spite.”
Swift signed a deal with Universal Music Group imprint Republic Records in November, and it will be releasing her new album Lover in August. There are petitions (one was signed by Katy Perry) to get Swift to rerelease the six albums Braun now owns though it’s not clear if Swift will be resorting to legal action. Her Tumblr post states: “I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future.”
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Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.