Antonoff, 39, reshared a “Sims” meme via his Instagram Story on Sunday, August 27. The quote read, “Not now sweetie, mommy is trying to figure out why Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Idina Menzel just fired Scooter Braun as their manager.” In the pic, the computer character stared intently at their computer while a baby erupted into flames on the floor.
Antonoff included a link to his band Bleachers’ Live at Radio City Music Hall LP just below the viral meme. He also uploaded several other photos — including one of a man’s arm tattoo and a pair of Instagram DMs that told him to “eat s—t” — to link to specific songs on the record, which dropped on Friday, August 25.
Neither Antonoff nor Braun, 42, have further addressed the social media posts.
Braun — who rose to fame as the talent manager who discovered a teenaged Justin Bieber on YouTube in the early 2000s — made headlines earlier this month after multiple reports surfaced that clients Bieber, 29, Grande, 30, Lovato, 31, and Menzel, 52, were seeking new representation.
A source close to the manager exclusively told Us Weekly in August that “all of Scooter Braun’s clients are under contract and negotiations have been going on for several months as Scooter steps into his larger role as Hybe America CEO. People are spreading rumors based on what they know, but they are off. Scooter’s team at SB Projects are still handling both Justin and Ariana as they work through what this new structure looks like.”
Us has since confirmed that Braun is no longer managing Grande and Bieber.
“Justin has officially let Scooter go as his manager,” a second source exclusively told Us on Wednesday, August 23, noting that the Canada native’s wife, Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin), “led the charge” for the shift. The insider further claimed that Justin has been “taking meetings with other managers for three years.”
Braun, for his part, seemingly reacted to the news one day earlier on Tuesday, August 22. “Breaking news … I’m no longer managing myself,” he tweeted, seemingly playing into the viral trend about who else has dropped Braun.
While Antonoff does not have a personal relationship with Braun, he is a close pal of Swift, 33. The Midnights singer previously revealed in 2019 that Braun’s $300 million purchase of Big Machine Records included her back catalog of music, believed to be worth $140 million. Swift was initially upset that she did not receive the opportunity to purchase her masters’ before Braun’s Ithaca Holdings bought them.
“Never in my worst nightmare did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time [Big Machine Records founder] Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to,” she wrote via Tumblr at the time. “He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”
Since 2020, Swift has been working with Antonoff to rerecord all of her past LPs, starting with Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in April 2021. Her fifth rerecording, 1989 (Taylor’s Version), is set to drop in October.
Meanwhile, Braun sold the masters of Swift’s first six albums to private equity fund Shamrock Capital for $300 million in 2020.