Celebs Take Sides in Taylor Swift Feud With Scooter Braun: Demi Lovato, Halsey and Others Weigh In
By Scott Baumgartner
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Celebs Take Sides in Taylor Swift's Feud With Scooter Braun
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Many people in the music industry are weighing in on Taylor Swift’s post after she called out manager Scooter Braun for buying the rights to her music catalog and allegedly "bullying" her in the past.
One major point of contention is when the pop star learned about Braun's acquisition of Big Machine Records, Swift's former label. In her initial Tumblr post, she claims she learned about it when the sale broke in the news. Those defending Braun, including his wife Yael Cohen Braun, have pushed back against that, claiming she was notified, for one thing, because her father, Scott Swift, is a shareholder in Big Machine Records.
However, ET has received a statement from Swift's rep clarifying their position: "Scott Swift is not on the board of directors and has never been. On June 25, there was a shareholder phone call that Scott Swift did not participate in due to a very strict NDA that bound all shareholders and prohibited any discussion at all without risk of severe penalty. Her dad did not join that call because he did not want to be required to withhold any information from his own daughter. Taylor found out from the news articles when she woke up before seeing any text from Scott Borchetta and he did not call her in advance."
Since Swift's post went up on Sunday, a number of artists have sided with the "ME!" singer, and others have showed their support for Braun. See some reactions below:
Halsey shared a lengthy post explaining why Swift inspired her to write her own music.
"Taylor Swift is a huge reason why I always insisted to write my own music," she wrote on Sunday. "I believed if she did it (in a way that made my teeth ache like cold water and my heart swell and my eyes leak) than I should too."
"She deserves to own the painstaking labor of her heart," the 24-year-old continued. "She has surpassed all expectations of what any artist is capable of. She catapulted her stardom into the Milky Way. And it turns my guts that no matter how much power or success a woman has in this life, you are still susceptible to someone coming along and making you feel powerless out of spite."
Bieber, whose image was used by Swift in her post -- when she accused Braun of bullying her at her lowest point -- has apologized to the singer with his own post, while also expressing he wished she'd taken her grievance with Braun to the manager himself rather than online.
"Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you!" he wrote alongside an old photo of himself with Swift. "As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter."
"Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication," he added. "So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line."
Soon after Bieber posted his response, his wife, Hailey, commented by simply writing, "Gentleman." This prompted a swift rebuke from fellow model Cara Delevingne.
"Gentleman? @haileybieber @justinbieber you must be bored," she wrote. "I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions. As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened. I am not sure you actually understand what an apology is. This issue that @taylorswift is talking out is about far more than a picture and you know that. As you said, you haven't spoken to her in years which means you definitely don't understand the situation. I do. Take a step back and try and learn from this. We should all be on the same team. End of story ?"
Braun has another defender, his new client Demi Lovato, who took to her Instagram story to stand up for the talent manager -- although without going so far as to slam Swift's post or the singer's comments.
"I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them. He’s a good man. Personally, I’m grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in this world as it is," Lovato wrote, adding in a following post, "Y’all can come after me all you want but I’m always gonna stay loyal to my team. I value loyalty more than most people in this world and if my name is gonna be brought into conversations I’m gonna stand up for myself and the ones on my team."
Swift's "ME!" collaborator and Panic! At the Disco lead singer Brendan Urie shared his reaction to her allegations with full-throated support.
"I stand with Taylor, of course," he explained in a new video. "I mean, it's just like a f**king sh*t show to learn how awful people can be, you know what I mean? Just for a profit. P-R-O-F-I-T. Just for monetary gain. And maybe some clout. I don't what kind of clout they feel like they deserve 'cause it's like, 'Dude, you screwed over a young artist. Early on and knew you were screwing them over.' Just everybody involved in that is a piece of sh*t, man. Anyway, I'm sorry. I don't wanna get to heated about it, it just breaks my heart."
One of Swift's close friends, Camila Cabello, also took a moment to chime in on the controversy. She wrote on Twitter: "I don’t know a lot about what’s going on but I will say I really believe artists should own their own life’s work ?."
I don’t know a lot about what’s going on but I will say I really believe artists should own their own life’s work 💔
Selena Gomez's mother, Mandy Teefey, also weighed in, reposting an image of Swift's post along with some strong words of encouragement.
"I wish I could give you a big hug right now!" she wrote. "Thank you for speaking out about this and teaching future young artist about protecting themselves. I don’t understand the pleasure of power plays to simply hurt people! To deny you the option to own your blood, sweat and tears, especially as a young women who shared growing up in front of the world, is heartbreaking!! XO!!"
Martha Hunt, Swift's Victoria's Secret model pal, took to Twitter to show her support, writing, "Taylor doesn’t deserve for someone who has constantly BULLIED her to OWN THE RIGHTS to her blood, sweat, + tears. It’s not the dark ages - artists shouldn’t be held down, and I couldn’t be prouder of my friend for standing up for what’s right. End of story."
"This is about protecting artists," Hunt added. "Taylor courageously exposed a grown man who has time + time again proven his obsession with holding her down, like his reputation precedes him. He doesn’t deserve a morsel of control over the archives of her past... Sad day for music, esp considering Taylor’s generous contributions to the industry. :(."
Taylor doesn’t deserve for someone who has constantly BULLIED her to OWN THE RIGHTS to her blood, sweat, + tears. It’s not the dark ages - artists shouldn’t be held down, and I couldn’t be prouder of my friend for standing up for what’s right. End of story.
This is about protecting artists. Taylor courageously exposed a grown man who has time + time again proven his obsession with holding her down, like his reputation precedes him. He doesn’t deserve a morsel of control over the archives of her past.
Legendary singer Cher also weighed in on the controversy, commenting on singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters' post endorsing Swift.
"Unfortunately Can Relate 2 Having Millions Stolen, A FEW TIMES," Cher wrote. "Some Close, Some Very Close, Some Supposed 2 Protect Me.. PULL UP UR BIG-GIRL G-STRING, PULL ON UR RHINESTONE COMBAT BOOTS, KICK SOME A**, & REMEMBER 'YOU ARE A RICH MAN.'"
Unfortunately Can Relate 2 Having Millions Stolen,A FEW TIMES😤.Some Close,Some Very Close,Some Supposed 2 Protect Me.😥😤🤬. PULL UP UR BIG-GIRL G-STRING, PULL ON UR RHINESTONE COMBAT BOOTS,KICK SOME ASS🎼, &REMEMBER “YOU ARE A RICH MAN”
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea also chimed in on Swift's post, claiming that if the "You Need to Calm Down" singer had been told about the deal just days before Braun acquired Big Machine Records, that doesn't necessarily mean she could have done anything to stop it.
"Telling someone about a deal days before it’s public means the deal was already done & she never had the opportunity to even make a bid to own her own work," she shared. "These deals take months to negotiate in long form."
Azalea wrote in a separate post: "And this is why I’m so happy to own my master for this new album, they really do ppl crazy dirty on ownership of their intellectual property in the biz."
Telling someone about a deal days before it’s public means the deal was already done & she never had the opportunity to even make a bid to own her own work. These deals take months to negotiate in long form. https://t.co/Ra7NdxzcOM
"For those asking, I left Scooter Braun a long time ago...I am saddened by this news, but not shocked," he wrote Sunday. "He is an evil person who’s only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan... I truly hope justice is served and that my friend’s music will fall into the hands of a better human."
He also called out Hailey Baldwin and Yael Cohen Braun, Scooter's wife, for defending their husbands on social media: "Also........Men sending women in (their wives) to carry out their patriarchal bullsh** is the worst form of feminist and human betrayal of all time - looking at you Yael and Hailey."
"I would normally not say anything because I’m sure scooter will threaten me like he has before to keep me quiet, but guess what Scooter, nothing you can do to me would be worst than the 6 years of my life I can’t get back from when & I was ignored as your 'artist,'" he added.
Another Victoria's Secret model, Sara Sampaio, also shared her thoughts on Swift's allegations, first writing: "I’m really confused, help me here guys, from what I read Taylor owns the melodies and lyrics right? But doesn’t own the masters ( wich are the recordings?) so if she was to record all the songs again she would own those masters? Like jojo did?"
"And since she owns the melody and the lyrics can she refuse to have her old music out?" she continued. "So confused on how this works, and how artist don’t own their music :(."
Next, she made it clear that she sides with Swift in this brewing discourse, adding, "Well such a sad sad situation, and she has every right to be pissed! Well I don’t stream music anyway, but If she records all her albums again ( or at least the red album :p) i would 100% stream it! ...No wonder more and more artist are releasing music without labels! Get your money!!!"
I’m really confused, help me here guys, from what I read Taylor owns the melodies and lyrics right? But doesn’t own the masters ( wich are the recordings?) so if she was to record all the songs again she would own those masters? Like jojo did?
The girl group Haim, also longtime friends of Swift's, offered their support with a brief statement. The sisters posted a segment of Swift's Tumblr post, which they captioned, "Read this. We support you @TaylorSwift. This is the dark sh*t in our industry that no one sees."
Fellow songstress Alessia Cara also seemingly offered Swift her support with a simple post of her own. In her Instagram Story, she wrote: "hey!!!!!! stop stealing from women who work hard!!!"
The elusive singer Sia threw her support behind Braun with a brief tweet stating: "You're a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly. I love you keep going."
Yael Cohen Braun
As mentioned before, Braun's own wife, Yael, also spoke up for him and took some pointed jabs at Swift.
"I have never been one for a public airing of laundry, but when you attack my husband…here we go," Cohen Braun began in an Instagram post on Sunday. "Let’s start with @taylorswift, whoa. Then let’s get the facts straight. You were given the opportunity to own your masters, you passed. Interesting that the man you’re 'grossed out' by believed in you more than you believe in yourself."
"Your dad is a shareholder and was notified, and [Big Machine Records CEO Scott] Borchetta personally told you before this came out. So no, you didn’t find out with the world," she continued. "And girl, who are you to talk about bullying? The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers. My husband is anything but a bully, he’s spent his life standing up for people and causes he believes in…"
Next, Cohen Braun defended Kanye West and Kim Kardashian regarding that infamous recorded phone conversation between West and Swift concerning his track “Famous.”
"Beyond that, it’s easy to see that the point of putting this out was to get people to bully him. You are supposed to be a role model, but continue to model bullying," she added. "He’s a manager, not God. He cannot control the action of other humans, even ones he manages. Don’t blame him because Kim caught you in a lie, it’s embarrassing I know – but adults own up to their mistakes. We learn and grow from them, we don’t divert blame and blur lines of reality to suit our needs."
It's noteworthy that Kendall Jenner is among the thousands who "liked" Yael's post.
The "Chandelier" songstress came out in support of Braun on Twitter Monday evening, writing, "You're a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly. I love you keep going."
While the songstress, who has long been one of Swift's close friends, has mostly stayed out of the fray, she did cautiously address the situation while answering random fan questions on Monday evening.
When one fan asked, "what do you think about this taylor-scott-scooter thing?? I know you are her friend," Ballerini replied, "I’ve reached out to her and love her very much."
Since Swift's post, a petition has appeared on Change.org, which suggests the singer should rerelease her first six albums under Republic Records, effectively cutting out Braun. The petition already has over 37,000 signatures, supposedly including fellow singer Katy Perry. ET has also reached out to Perry for comment.
Meanwhile, Ariana Grande, another of Braun's clients, has quietly deleted her post congratulating him on acquiring Big Machine Records.