In the last 24 hours there has been a very public back and forth between Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. But what is it all about? At the heart of the feud is Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager, who represented Kanye West at the height of Swift’s public fallout with Kim Kardashian and West back in 2016.
On June 30, Swift found out that Braun had bought the rights to her first six albums — Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989 and Reputation — from American record executive Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records. This news Swift wrote in a Tumblr post made her feel "sad and grossed out" and described as her "worst case scenario". But why?
“I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” the 29-year-old explained on in her lengthy Tumblr post.
“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,” Swift went on to explain, referring fans to a photo at the top of the post which shows Bieber seemingly FaceTiming Scooter Braun, Kanye West and one other man.
Bieber originally posted it on Instagram with the caption writing, "Taylor Swift what up". It is thought the photo dates back to 2016. Over this photo, Taylor Swift added the explanation, "This is Scooter Braun, bullying me on social media when I was at my lowest point. He's about to own all the music I've ever made".
Swift didn’t stop there with her explanation, adding of Braun: “Or when his client, Kanye West, organised 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.”
The video Swift was referring to accompanies the song Famous, and features doubles of Taylor Swift along with Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Amber Rose, Ray J, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, George Bush, Anna Wintour and Caitlyn Jenner. The song also includes the line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have *** Why? I made that ***** famous".
Justin Bieber chimes in
Braun has represented Bieber since 2008, after discovering his YouTube videos. So unsurprisingly, Bieber came to the defence of his manager and friend.
“Hey Taylor,” he wrote on Instagram, captioning a photo of the two from 2009. “First of all, I would like to apologise for posting that hurtful Instagram post, at the time I thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.
"Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you,” he went on to say. “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?” Bieber asked, referring to Swift’s Tumblr post. “Seems to me like it was to get sympathy, you also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully Scooter.”
The singer rounded the post off by writing: “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 love’s character, that’s crossing a line.”
“Gentleman,” Bieber’s wife, Hailey Bieber, commented on the post. And Braun’s wife, Yael Cohen, wrote: “I have never loved you more”.
But not everyone was a fan. Actress Cara Delevingne replied to Hailey Bieber’s comment, writing: “Gentleman? [Baldwin] [Bieber] 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 reaction. 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 [Swift] 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.”
Swift and Delevingne are close friends, the model is one of the stars who featured in her 2015 Bad Blood music video.
Since posting, it appears that Bieber has deleted Delevingne’s post, which has attracted further criticism.
"You deleted Cara’s comment because you feel you can’t have someone out there telling the truth [about] this," one fan commented.
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