On Friday, November 14, Taylor Swift claimed that her former Big Machine label boss Scott Borchetta, along with music manager Scooter Braun (who purchased the master recording rights to Swift’s pre-Lover material in June), had blocked her from including older material in televised performances, most notably during her upcoming Artist of the Decade appearance at the American Music Awards. The label responded with a statement denying her claims, and a representative for Swift responded with an alleged email in which a label representative denied a license.
Now, it appears that Big Machine have claimed to come to an agreement with Dick Clark Productions (who is producing the AMAs ceremony), as Variety notes. According to a statement from Big Machine viewed by Pitchfork, the licensing agreement “approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms.”
The statement continues, “It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media. Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.”
A representative from Dick Clark Productions, however, denies taking part in the statement. “At no time did Dick Clark Productions agree to, create, authorize or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 American Music Awards,” they write. “Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.”
In Swift’s original statement, she wrote that Borchetta and Braun had forbidden her from performing songs from her back catalog due to a contractual stipulation that she would be technically “re-recording” the music before she is legally allowed to. (Swift has previously said that she plans to re-record the songs from her first six albums in 2020, when she is legally permitted to do so.) She noted that their stipulation specifically pertained to her AMAs performance as well as a previously unannounced Netflix documentary. “The message being sent to me is very clear,” she wrote. “Be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.” Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Taylor Swift.
Multiple public figures have posted statements on social media to show support for Swift, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, and others. Today (November 18), Kesha tweeted about the matter. “I stand in solidarity with @taylorswift13,” she wrote. “Artists should be allowed the right to perform their songs as they wish. As a songwriter, songs are our children, our accomplishments, our thoughts, and our voice.” Find her tweet below.
This article was initially published on November 18 at 3:05 p.m. Eastern. It was last updated at 3:57 p.m. Eastern.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork