The public feud between Taylor Swift and her former producers reportedly took a “threatening” turn Friday after Swift accused Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta of saying she couldn’t perform any of her old hits and “basically” telling her she should just “be a good little girl and shut up” — or be “punished.” In response to the alleged bullying, Swift urged her fans to let the producers “know how you feel about this.”
According to Page Six, Braun was forced to shut down his office in Nashville Friday “following threats allegedly sparked by Taylor Swift’s claim she was being bullied and barred from performing her old hits.”
“Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings, was deluged with calls after Swift alleged that he and Big Machine Label Group co-founder Scott Borchetta were preventing her from performing her hits at the American Music Awards, and refused to permit her music to be used in a Netflix doc,” Page Six’s Emily Smith reports. Nashville Police said no threats were reported, Smith notes.
The alleged “threats” followed Swift posting a letter on social media Thursday accusing Braun and Borchetta of saying she cannot perform her old songs at the American Music Awards “because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
She also alleges that Borchetta has told her to stop talking about him and Braun in public. “Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished,” she writes. The letter reads in part:
Guys, it’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honoring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony. I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show. 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. Additionally — and this isn’t the way I had planned on telling you this news — Netflix has created a documentary about my life for the past few years. Scott and Scooter have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film.
Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree not to re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told me that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.
I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them to avoid sharing a similar fate. The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.
This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in writing those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans. So this is where I am asking for your help.
Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this. 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 they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote.
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
In response, Big Machine Label Group issued a statement to Page Six Friday expressing “shock” at Swift’s claims and asserting that “at no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special.”
“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her 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,” the group told the outlet. “Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”
“Despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision . . . to enlist her fan base in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families,” the group told Page Six.
But Swift’s team insists that Borchetta “flatly denied the request for both the AMAs and Netflix.”
A source told Page Six that Braun “has repeatedly reached out to Swift since June to meet in person and broker a partnership, but she has ignored him.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Braun as one of the co-founders of BMLG.