Taylor Swift isn’t shy about holding people accountable for their actions. In fact, she’s made an entire career out of it.
But this week, when Scooter Braun called on her to take accountability, she uncharacteristically chose not to respond — and, frankly, it’s not okay.
It’s been six months since Scooter Braun purchased Big Machine Label Group and, with it, the rights to all of Taylor’s music from the beginning of her career through November 2018. Since then, she’s been quite vocal about her feelings on the matter.
In all fairness, she has every right to be angry. She got locked into a shady contract when she was just a teenager, has pleaded with the record label to allow her to buy her own work to no avail, and then salt got poured into the wound when Braun purchased the label because, according to Taylor, he’s “bullied” her quite a bit throughout her career.
In the most recent chapter of the sage, Taylor shared an emotional update on the battle after she discovered that she would not be allowed to sing her own songs at the 2019 American Music Awards (it was eventually settled and, as we now know, she was able to play some of her greatest hits). At the time, though, she called on her fans to “please let… Scooter Braun know how you feel about this”.
As expected, Swifties answered the call.
But now they’ve gone a bit too far because they’re issuing death threats to Braun, his family, and his colleagues at the label (many of whom are probably just trying to bring home a paycheck).
Since his purchase in June, Braun has remained pretty silent on the matter, which isn’t all that surprising since there are a lot of lawyers involved at this point. But, on Nov. 22, he finally broke and took to social media with a statement addressed to Taylor. He wrote,
“Since your public statement last week there have been numerous death threats directed at my family. This morning I spoke out publicly for the first time saying I wouldn’t participate in a social media war. However, I came home tonight to find my wife had received a phone call threatening the safety of our children as well as other threats seen above. I won’t go into the details of this past week. I have been at a loss. Thinking of my wife and children, my team and their families, I have gone through a range of emotions on how to deal with this. I write this now only after a deep [breath] and reflection. I am certain there is no situation worth jeopardizing anyone’s safety.”
The guy may be the villain of this story but he has a point. No one should be receiving death threats over this matter — especially his kids.
His statement goes on:
“I assume this was not your intention but it’s important that you understand that your words carry a tremendous amount of weight and that your message can be interpreted by some in different ways. While disappointed that you have remained silent after being notified by your attorney 4 days ago of these ongoing threats, I’m still hopeful we can fix this.”
As of Nov. 26, Taylor has yet to publicly respond to the statement.
Taylor certainly deserves the rights to her intellectual property as a songwriter, but it’s been more than a week since she was initially informed that her fans were sending death threats on her behalf. She needs to call off the troops on this one. Her fans are loyal and their love for her runs deep. Braun is correct in saying that Taylor’s words have weight to — and it’s time for her to use them for some good.
Taylor is on the right side of this legal battle, but she needs to step up and declare a cease-fire by her fans so that she can continue to be on the right side. It’s never, under any circumstance, okay to stay silent when it comes to threats of violence.
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Aside from being a writer, Ashley is a mom of two girls and a wife to a passionate public school administrator. When she does have free time (cue laughter from working moms everywhere) she loves going to hot yoga classes, watching anything on Netflix that isn’t a cartoon, and weaving her way through every aisle of Target while listening to one of her favorite podcasts.