Big Machine Records' Offices Shut Down Due to Threats Amid Taylor Swift Feud (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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The feud between Taylor Swift and Big Machine has reached a scary new level.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells ET that Big Machine Label Group's headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, was forced to shut down early on Friday, at 12:30 p.m. local time, due to direct and hostile death threats being made to employees of the company.
The source believes that Taylor Swift fans are going to extremes to leak personal contact information and addresses of company employees -- not just Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. Authorities have not been notified. ET has reached out to Swift's rep for comment.
The news comes after Swift took to social media on Thursday to allege that Braun, Borchetta, and her former label, Big Machine Records, are preventing her from performing a medley of her hits at the American Music Awards and stalling production on a planned Netflix documentary. In her post, the singer urged fans to "let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this."
With many celebrities taking sides, Big Machine said in a statement to ET on Friday that, "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."
A spokeswoman for Swift, however, disputed that claim in a followup statement to ET, writing that Borchetta "flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix."
"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," the statement continued. "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."
A Big Machine executive, however, told ET: "Taylor can 100 percent perform all of her catalog, past and present, at the AMAs. Big Machine has no issue with her performance going out on live broadcast because it recognizes it doesn’t have the right to block her. Labels can’t block any artists from performing any songs live."
Watch the video below for more on the Swift and Big Machine feud.