Published Nov 14, 2019Taylor Swift is bringing the battle against her former label boss Scott Borchetta and music manager Scooter Braun to the next level. In a newly penned open letter posted to social media, Swift has accused the pair of blocking the singer from performing her early material during a pair of high-profile appearances.
Specifically, Swift says Borchetta and Braun — who she has been warring with for months — are blocking her from performing any of her pre-Lover material during the upcoming American Music Awards, where she will receive Artist of the Decade honours, as well as during long-in-the-works Netflix documentary about her life.
Swift claims she is being prevented from performing her early work due to the contractual stipulation that she would be "re-recording" her music before she is legally allowed to do so. As previously reported, Swift had said she planned to indeed re-record her back catalogue in order to regain control of the masters of her early work.
She lost the rights to those master recordings after Braun's Ithaca Holdings acquired Swift's former label Big Machine Label Group from Borchetta in June.
Adding to this, Swift even claims in her open letter that Borchetta told her team that he would only allow her to perform her old music if she agrees to stop talking about him or Braun, as well as agree to not re-record the material in 2020.
"I've been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show," Swift writes. "Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to next year."
Swift adds, "Scott Bocchetta told my team that they'll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I'm both legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun. The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished."
Swift also says in the open letter that this about something much more than just her.
"Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this," she writes to her fans. "Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work. Please ask them for help with this — I'm hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote."
This request has also definitely spurred on her fans. A Change.org petition has already collected well over 30,000 signatures in just hours after Swift's initial post.
You can find Swift's full open letter below.
UPDATE (11/15, 11:30 a.m. EST): Big Machine has now responded to Swift's scathing open letter, issuing a statement to the media claiming "the narrative [Swift has] created does not exist." The statement continued: "Since Taylor's decision to leave Big Machine last fall, [the label has] continued to honour all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record, in which we do not financially participate.
Don't know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
"We were shocked to see [Swift's] Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere."