This afternoon, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter after Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun was reported to have acquired Big Machine Label Group and all the rights to her music catalog (Swift left Big Machine, but the masters for her first six albums remain owned by them). She called it her “worst case scenario.” Bieber responded to her letter this evening in an Instagram post. His wife Hailey Baldwin applauded him for it, then Swift’s friend Delevingne hit back at both of them.
For context, Swift wrote candidly about why she struggled with Braun owning the rights to her music in her Tumblr blog this afternoon, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” she started.
She included a screenshot from Bieber’s Instagram with Braun on a FaceTime call with him. Bieber’s caption said, “Taylor swift what up” Swift wrote on there, “This is Scooter Braun bullying me when I was at my lowest point. He’s about to own all the music I’ve ever made.”
You can read Swift’s full letter here, but the part that got Bieber’s attention most is the two excerpts below, where Swift explained how Braun, who manages Kanye West too, bullied her:
Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.
….When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time [Big Machine Records’] Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.
Bieber took offense at this, writing a long Instagram caption to Swift:
“Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! 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. 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..
His wife Hailey Baldwin applauded him, commenting, “gentleman.”
Swift’s friend Delevingne saw this, wasn’t impressed, and responded to both of them in the comments of Bieber’s post. Comments by Celebs caught it before it was taken down. She wrote:
Gentleman? @haileybieber @justinbieber you must be bored. 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 😘”