Speed Reads

bad blood

Taylor Swift claims her former record label has 'tyrannical control' over her old songs. The label denies it.

Taylor Swift is very much included in this narrative.

Swift and Big Machine Records, which produced her first six albums, unamicably parted ways a year ago in what was the beginning of a high-profile fight over who controls Swift's songs. That reached a new height Thursday night when Swift posted an open letter accusing the label of stopping her from performing her songs live — and Big Machine is denying it all.

In her statement, Swift discussed how she'd be getting an American Music Award deeming her the "artist of the decade," and wanted to perform a medley of her songs at the awards show. She also said, and "this isn't the way I had planned on telling you this news," that a Netflix documentary about her was in the works as well. But all of those things are "a big question mark" because Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun — Big Machine's founder and the man whose holding company bought Big Machine earlier this year, respectively — "have now said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television" because she'd be re-recording her music before she's allowed to in November 2020, Swift said.

On Friday, Big Machine fired back. "We were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information," and "at no point" did Big Machine attempt to block her performances or documentary, it said in a statement. It decried her for risking "the safety of our employees and their families," stemming from how she directed fans to question Borchetta and Braun and their other clients. And with what was likely a deliberate choice of words, Big Machine directly addressed Swift to say "the narrative you have created does not exist."