Justin Bieber couldn’t help himself. He took to his Instagram Story to make his opinion known about Taylor Swift’s renewed public feud with Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun. The Biebs is team Scooter, naturally.
Bieber shared an Instagram Story of a TMZ article featuring Big Machine Label’s side of the story. For context, Braun acquired BML this summer and owns the catalog for Swift’s first six albums. Swift wrote last night that Braun and BML CEO Scott Borchetta were forbidding her from performing her old music in any recorded appearances, including at the upcoming American Music Awards.
Big Machine Label hit back with a statement saying Swift wasn’t representing the situation accurately; Swift’s publicist, Tree Paine, then tweeted a statement further clarifying Swift’s side.
The TMZ story is sourced primarily from Big Machine’s side. An exec from the label told the outlet that “Taylor Swift can 100 percent perform all of her catalog, past and present, on the AMAs…Our confusion with her statement is that we have no legal right to stop this and have never tried. She and her team both know this.”
Paine addressed much of this in her statement last night.
The truth is, on October 28, 2019 at 5:17 p.m. the Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs from Big Machine Label Group sent Taylor Swift’s team the following: “Please be advised that BMLG will not agree to issue licenses for existing recordings or waivers of its re-recording restrictions in connection with these two projects: the Netflix documentary and the Alibaba ‘Double Eleven’ event.”
To avoid an argument over rights, Taylor performed three songs off her new album Lover at the Double Eleven event as it was clear that Big Machine Label Group felt any televised performance of catalog songs violated her agreement. In addition, yesterday Scott Borchetta, CEO and founder of Big Machine Label Group, flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix. Please notice in Big Machine’s statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post.
Lastly, Big Machine is trying to deflect and make this about money by saying she owes them but, [sic] an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years.
The situation is messy and complicated, and this is not the first time Bieber has gotten himself involved in Swift and Braun’s issues. When Swift first wrote an open letter expressing how upset she was that Braun acquired her catalog because of “the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” Bieber spoke out in defense of Braun with a lengthy Instagram post.
Bieber told paparazzi later in October that he and Swift were “always homies” and that “I’m done with all that other stuff. Other people’s drama is not my drama.” Guess he wasn’t completely finished, after all.