Big Machine Label Group Denies They’re Blocking Taylor Swift From Performing Her Old Music
Big Machine Label Group is refuting Taylor Swift's claim that she is being blocked from performing her old music on television. In a new statement, the record label says the two sides were "start[ing] to see progress" in resolving the issues between them, and that, with her Thursday (Nov. 14) social media post, the country-turned-pop megastar is "creat[ing a narrative] that does not exist."
Swift has been open about her battle for the rights to her old music following the sale of her former record label to celebrity talent manager Scooter Braun. She was recently named the American Music Awards Artist of the Decade for the 2010s, and is scheduled to perform a medley of her biggest hits from the past 10 years at the Nov. 24 ceremony; however, on Thursday, the singer claimed via social media that Braun and BMLG Founder and CEO Scott Borchetta "have now said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to this year."
In a statement obtained by Billboard, Big Machine says Swift's statements are "based on false information," and that the label as "continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties." BMLG's statement also claims that Swift "contractually ow[es] millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company."
"At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special," the statement continues. "In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere."
Swift's team and Big Machine, the label's statement adds, "have worked diligently to have a conversation ... to productively move forward." They were making progress on the matter in recent weeks, the statement says, and they claim that Swift's Thursday statement "enlist[s] 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," Big Machine's statement concludes. "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."
At the end of her own letter, Swift admits she isn't sure what the immediate future holds for her and any performances she's planning. "I've tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything," she explains. "Right now, my performances at the AMAs, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark."
Swift's dedicated fanbase has quickly stepped into action following her remarks. PopCrush reports that social media users are sharing what are reportedly Borchetta and Braun's home, office and cell phone numbers, and fans have also launched a Change.org petition in support of Swift. A representative for Swift released a statement on Friday, sharing a message from the conversation between BMLG and Swift's team, and reporting that "an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years."
Taylor Swift vs. BMLG: Who's Said What