Taylor Swift’s Rep Slams Big Machine After Label Denies Blocking Her Music
In case you missed all the drama, Swift published an open letter Thursday night (November 14) accusing Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, who now own her former label, of not letting her perform her old songs at the 2019 AMAs or use any of her music for an upcoming Netflix documentary. In it, she says the executive gave her an ultimatum, claiming they'll only let her use the music if she agrees not to re-record her previous albums.
Early Friday morning (November 15), Big Machine not only denied the pop star's music blocking claims but said she owes the company “millions of dollars and multiple assets." They also accused Swift of spreading false information, creating a narrative that does not exist and enlisting her fanbase in a "calculated manner."
"As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information,” Big Machine's statement began. “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, [the label has] 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," they wrote.
"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," the company added. "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.”
Swift's longtime rep, Tree Paine, has since has responded to Big Machine‘s statement. In it, she provides an email that states the label “will not agree to issue licenses for existing recordings or waivers of its re-recording restrictions” in connection with the Netflix project and her performance at the Double Eleven event in China last week.
The spokesperson wrote, “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," Paine noted in the statement. “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."
You can read Taylor Swift's rep's statement in full, below: