‘Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun Bad Blood’: New Docuseries on The Fued Incoming

Coming this June to Discovery+ in the UK and Ireland is the latest season of the docuseries vs., and it’s all about the much-publicized clash between Taylor Swift and record executive Scooter Braun. Titled ‘Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun: Bad Blood,’ this season will be brought to you by Warner Bros. Discovery U.K. & Ireland.

The focus of the upcoming season will be Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Records back in 2019 for a hefty $300 million. This acquisition gave Braun control over Swift’s first six albums, a move that stirred up quite a controversy. Swift was not pleased with the deal, sparking a very public feud between the two that garnered significant media attention.

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Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun
Image Courtesy: THR

In response to Braun’s acquisition, Swift decided to take matters into her own hands by planning to re-release her earlier albums under the name ‘Taylor’s Versions.’

The show’s premise promises two episodes, each offering a different perspective on the conflict. One episode will delve into Swift’s viewpoint, where she claims the sale of her music catalogue happened without her knowledge and that she has been prevented from buying back her master. On the other hand, Braun’s side will be presented in the second episode, where he argues that Swift refused to negotiate and instead initiated a public feud by rallying her fans against him.

Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun
Image Courtesy: Cosmopolitan

Legal experts, journalists, and music insiders familiar with both parties will discuss these perspectives. Moreover, the series aims to explore broader issues such as music ownership, gender dynamics in the music industry, and the influence of fan power.

Charlotte Reid, Vice President of Commissioning for WBD U.K. and Ireland networks and streaming, highlighted the appeal of the feud, stating, “Taylor Swift’s dispute with Scooter Braun over the ownership of her music exploded into the mainstream, taking contract law from boardroom to social media and into public interest.” She noted that the story has sparked widespread debates about fandom and has dominated news headlines.

Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun
Image Courtesy: Entertainment Tonight

The Timeline

Taylor Swift’s decision to re-record her early albums, culminating in the release of ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ stems from a significant music industry dispute. The journey leading to the re-recordings began when music manager Scooter Braun became involved in a deal that transferred ownership of Swift’s older music.

The tension peaked in June 2019, with the announcement that Braun’s media company, Ithaca Holdings, had acquired Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group for $300 million. Through this deal, Braun gained control of Swift’s first six albums with Big Machine Records, including her self-titled debut, ‘Fearless,’ ‘Speak Now,’ ‘Red,’ ‘1989’ and ‘Reputation.’

Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun
Image Courtesy: Creative Disc

Despite Swift’s departure from Big Machine Records in 2018, signing a multiyear contract with Universal Music Group, ownership of her earlier works remained with Big Machine Records.

Swift aired her grievances in a Tumblr post, expressing disappointment and revealing her efforts to gain ownership of her music. She disclosed that she had declined an offer to gradually earn back her music through an album-by-album contract, fearing the label would be sold, taking her music with it.

Swift announced her plan to re-record her first six albums to regain control over her music, stating, “I think artists deserve to own their own work.”

Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun
Image Courtesy: Page Six

Starting in 2021, Swift began releasing her re-recorded music, with ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ being the first single in February 2021. Subsequent releases included’ Red (Taylor’s Version)’ (2021), ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’ (2023) and ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ (2023), each featuring additional vault tracks.

In a September 2022 interview with NPR, Scooter Braun addressed the controversy, admitting he would have handled the acquisition differently if given the chance. He mentioned being under the impression that Swift had no interest in her masters, claiming he was told she declined an opportunity to buy into their ownership.