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Selena Gomez backs Taylor Swift in dispute with Scooter Braun, Big Machine

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Selena Gomez is standing with Taylor Swift amid her pal’s fight with Big Machine label head Scott Borchetta and his new partner, Scooter Braun, over Swift’s music — and she doesn’t “mind if there may be retaliation.”

In a posted shared on Instagram Friday, Gomez said she was “sick and extremely angry” over Swift’s claim that Borchetta and Braun won’t let her perform her Big Machine-era hits during a retrospective performance at the 2019 American Music Awards, where she’s being awarded the first-ever Artist of the Decade award on Nov. 24. Meanwhile, Big Machine is accusing Swift of spreading “false information” about the situation.

“It’s greed, manipulation and power,” wrote Gomez, who’s also expected to perform at the AMAs. “There is no heart of thought of anyone else. No respect for the words my friend has written since she was a 14 year old in her bedroom. You’ve robbed and crushed one of our best song writers of our time an opportunity to celebrate all of her music with fans and the world.”

Selena Gomez back pal Taylor Swift as she goes up against Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. (Screenshot: Selena Gomez via Instagram)
Selena Gomez back pal Taylor Swift as she goes up against Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. (Screenshot: Selena Gomez via Instagram)

Gomez went on to defended her friend against name-calling she’s faced for taking on the music execs.

“I’ve known Taylor for 13 years,” she wrote. “She is the most dedicated, fearless, [feisty], strongest woman I've ever know. People can say b**** but what I'm saying to you is that's called a woman with true identity and strength who takes no s***.”

Gomez also wrote about Swift’s 2008 album Fearless, saying she first listened to it “before it came out and I just remember us jumping on a bed and she was just sparkling — so proud of her diary being read by the whole world. Nervous of people not liking it... but that became one of the biggest records — an album that saved so many young [women] who felt alone. Have a broken heart. Who were healing. Those who felt invisible. Gave a voice to those who didn't know that they had one all along. Believing in dreams again."

Gomez wrote that the “MOST important thing to Taylor is her family, love, her fans and her MUSIC,” adding that she hopes there is “a change of heart over this unfortunate situation."

She ended by writing, "Seeing my best friend (or any of my friends) be constantly pulled down is the worst feeling. Taylor fights. She will never stop fighting. People grow from choices. Some will stay exactly the same. I just want a change of heart. I love you."

Gomez didn’t say outright who could possibly retaliate against her for siding with Swift, but she could be referring to going up against her ex, Justin Bieber, who’s managed by Braun and publicly defended him over the summer when this first started. She’s also taking a different side than her former friend Demi Lovato, who’s also managed by Braun and has defended him as well.

Gomez is one of many celebrities who rushed to Swift’s defense also including Halsey, Gigi Hadid, Lily Allen and Rebecca Black.

On Thursday, Swift took to social media to explain her dilemma to fans. She said that, in addition to the AMAs, Borchetta and Braun are also denying the use of her recordings in an upcoming Netflix documentary about her career. Swift said she was told she could only use her old songs if she agreed to never re-record them and agreed to not publicly speak badly of Braun, Borchetta and Big Machine in the future.

Swift asked her fans to “let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this” — and urged her fans to reach out to Braun’s clients, who also include Ariana Grande, Dan + Shay, Carly Rae Jepsen, the Zac Brown Band, Usher and Swift’s infamous nemesis Kanye West.

Soon after, #IStandWithTaylor was trending on Twitter and there was a Change.org petition calling on Borchetta, Braun and investment firm the Carlyle Group to stop “holding [Swift’s] artwork hostage.”

On Friday, Big Machine responded with its own statement, saying they were “shocked” to hear Swift spread “false information.”

“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her tumblr statements yesterday based on false information,” the statement read. “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.”

On the heels of that, Swift’s spokeswoman shared an email that the singer received from Big Machine Label Group.

“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.’”

The statement went on to say that Big Machine owes Swift money.

”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 continues. “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.”

This drama is the latest in an ongoing dispute between Swift and the execs that started when Braun acquired the catalog of Big Machine, Swift’s former record label, in June. It the time, Swift called it her “worst case scenario,” saying she “wasn’t given an opportunity to buy” her music herself and said the deal “stripped me of my life’s work.” She also took issue with Braun personally, saying he bullied her amid her dispute with West. Borchetta and Braun denied her accusations, saying she was given the opportunity to buy her music and her accusations were “not based on any truth.”)

Swift is now signed to the Republic Records label, which released Lover, her seventh studio album, on Aug. 23.

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