The Taylor Swift Vs. Scooter Braun Saga Just Turned Into An Even Bigger Clusterfuck
This is getting messier and messier.
Over the last few weeks, Taylor Swift has been involved in an increasingly ugly and public spat with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, the two men who are now in control of her back catalogue after the sale of Swift’s old record label, Big Machine.
According to a statement posted to Twitter by Swift, Borchetta and Braun were blocking the singer from performing her own songs at the upcoming American Music Awards, and from using them in a Netflix documentary about the last few years of her life.
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
The statement went very viral, and a number of celebrities waded in to apply pressure to the two men.
Now, it seems that the pressure has worked — but only somewhat. As per The Guardian, Swift will be able to perform her songs at the American Music Awards. According to a statement by Big Machine, Swift’s performance can be “stream[ed] post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms.”
“The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms,” the statement read. “This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances.”
Moreover, according to Big Machine, Swift didn’t need label approval for the performance in the first place: “Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.”
But bizarrely enough, Dick Clark Productions — which is responsible for the American Music Awards — denied they had reached an agreement with Big Machine.
“At no time did Dick Clark Productions agree to, create, authorise or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 American Music Awards,” they wrote in a statement a short time ago. “Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.”
At the time of writing, there has been no clarification from Swift’s team or Big Machine.
Whether or not Dick Clark Productions were involved in the statement, it still appears to be a big win for Swift — for the moment. After all, Dick Clark Productions wouldn’t have been able to halt Swift’s performing of her own songs; they’re kinda non-players, so their decision to clarify their involvement in the proceedings feels more like an attempt to get out of the way of all this mess.
But there’s more trouble on the horizon for Swift, even if we chalk this one up as a sorta victory. According to The Guardian, the future of the Netflix documentary is still in doubt. As Swift outlined in her statement, Braun and Borchetta have been attempting to stop the musician from recording copy-cat versions of her old songs, a means by which she could retake control of her own back catalogue. If they succeed in stopping that, they’ll retain a lot of control over Swift’s music.
It’s a win, but this ain’t over yet.