Big Machine Label Group says Taylor Swift is fabricating claims over her American Music Awards performance and Netflix biopic. Taylor Swift says Big Machine is lying about her lying — and produces an email to prove it.
And another high-profile spat between Big Machine Label Group, Scooter Braun, and Taylor Swift commences.
For those just tuning in, Taylor Swift unleashed a furious missive on social media yesterday (Thursday) with a host of accusations against Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta (pictured right), and Scooter Braun (who has not yet responded). You can read her entire statement here, but the quick summary is that Borchetta and Braun are accused of blocking the singer from performing her own songs at the upcoming American Music Awards while preventing her music’s use in a Netflix biopic.
Early this morning, Borchetta took off the gloves as well. Here’s Big Machine’s formal response to Taylor’s initial accusations.
As Taylor Swift’s Partner for Over a Decade, We Were Shocked To See Her Tumblr Statements Yesterday Based on False Information
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. 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.
The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career. We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward.
We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this may get resolved. However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.
Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. When that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let’s not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.
— Big Machine Label Group
Kicking off round 2 of the smackdown, a rep for Taylor Swift offered this response to the response — which includes email evidence.
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’ [an event in China at which Swift performed last week].”
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, an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years.
It looks like that ‘Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs’ is Jessica Myers, based on a Big Machine Label Group press release from March of 2018. We’ve reached out to Myers for further comment.