Taylor Swift’s Former Record Label Denies Prohibiting Her AMAs Performance
A day after the singer claimed on Twitter that Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta are preventing her from performing her old songs on television, Taylor Swift's former record label called her AMAs claims "false" in a statement released on their website. And Swift was quick to issue a response of her own.
"As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information," the Big Machine Label group — which is owned by Borchetta and, after a headline-grabbing merger in July, Braun's Ithaca Holdings Group — wrote in a statement on Friday, Nov. 15. The statement seemingly denied Swift's claims that Braun and Borchetta, who own the masters of her first six studio albums, were not allowing her to perform any of her old songs during her performance at the American Music Awards or as part of an upcoming Netflix documentary.
"At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special," the statement continued. However, a spokesperson for Swift contradicted that point in a response statement obtained by Bustle on Friday, explaining that, at a recent performance, "it was clear that Big Machine Label Group felt any televised performance of catalog songs violated her agreement." Furthermore, the statement continued, claiming that just before Swift updated fans on Thursday, Borchetta had "flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix." Finally, Swift's spokesperson also pointed out that Big Machine Label Group's statement did not "actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post."
As for the claim made by Big Machine Label Group that Swift owed them "millions of dollars and multiple assets," Swift's spokesperson called this a red herring. "Big Machine is trying to deflect and make this about money by saying she owes them but, an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years," the spokesperson claimed.
Finally, the Big Machine Label Group statement called out Swift for asking her fans to contact Braun and Borchetta to help her campaign for the right to perform her songs, writing that she "enlist[ed] her fanbase in a calculated manner" that affected the safety of the label's employees. While Swift never asked fans to do anything other than share their support of her with Braun and Borchetta, The Verge reported that some of Swift's fans had been doxxing the pair and some of BMLG's employees on social media.
In her original post, Swift also stated that Braun and Borchetta had asked her to stop talking about about the battle for her masters in public. However, in a recent interview with UK publication Music Week, the singer stated that it was important for her to keep the conflict in the public eye, in order to hopefully improve things for younger artists.
"I’m one of the only people in the artist realm who can be loud about it," she reflected in Music Week. "People who are on their fifth, sixth or seventh album, we’re the only ones who can speak out, because new artists and producers and writers need to work."
The fight for Swift's masters is clearly far from over, but based on her recent statements, it seems clear that the singer will not stop speaking out about it any time soon.