On the heels of a report that Taylor Swift plans to make her 2019 American Music Awards performance — and her artist of the decade acceptance speech — into a bold message of artist empowerment comes news that one of the men Taylor's taking aim at won't be there to see it in person.
According to a Nov. 20 report from TMZ, Scooter Braun — the music manager and exec who purchased Taylor's old label over the summer — will not be in attendance at the AMAs in Los Angeles on Nov. 24. Instead, he'll be on the other side of the country, in Tampa, Florida, to support client Ariana Grande, who's on tour.
Taylor has been in a headline-making feud with Scooter as well as Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Big Machine Label Group, which controls the pop star's masters for her first six studio albums. Though she initially was being prevented from performing hits from her back catalog at the AMAs, she claimed in a lengthy missive on social media on Nov. 14 — which Big Machine denied — that issue has since been resolved, at least temporarily, with regard to the AMAs, reports confirm.
On Nov. 19, Page Six reported that to send a public message to the men, Taylor has been planning an AMAs performance that will be a "fierce show of female artistic strength and empowerment," a source told the New York Post's gossip column. The source also told Page Six that as Taylor accepts a special artist of the decade award, she's likely to "make a statement about artists being able to own their masters, the music they created, and how she feels she has been treated by Scooter and Scott."
Now TMZ claims that, according to sources with direct knowledge of Scooter's plans, the exec is, as TMZ writes, "not scared of what Taylor might do … fact is, he never planned on showing up for the show."
Just because he's not there, however, doesn't mean that he — and the world — won't hear what Taylor has to say. But, as TMZ writes, "there won't be awkward cutaways of Scooter [in the audience], and that kind of deflates the balloon."
That, of course, is debatable. Meanwhile, TMZ thinks that there could be more drama to see when speeches are delivered because Scooter's loyal client, Ariana, is — like Taylor — up for artist of the year and favorite female pop/rock artist awards at the AMAs.
But since Ari, like Scooter, won't be at the AMAs in person because of her Florida concert, that also could pour water on any potential sparks.