Maybe you missed it, maybe you didn’t, but in either case, maybe you aren’t yet too familiar with Yael Cohen Braun, one of the key Canadian characters in the dramatically unfolding Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun controversy, which has been infecting the far reaches of the internet since Sunday.
In the event that you have managed to stumble through the last two days without hearing about snakes, or scooters, or Scotts, here’s the quick and dirty: a major music manager now owns all of Taylor Swift’s master recordings, and she isn’t too happy about it.
In a Tumblr post on Sunday, Swift referred to Scooter Braun as an “incessant, manipulative bully,” at which point his wife, Yael Cohen Braun, sprang into the ring and tried to ring the final bell.
Watch: Here are all the Canadians caught up in the feud between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun. Story continues below.
Yael Cohen — who was born in South Africa but raised in Vancouver — is most known for being the founder of Fuck Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “prevention, early detection and providing emotional support and guidance to those affected by cancer.”
Cohen, who also earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, started the organization in 2009, when she was 22 and her mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
After witnessing her mother’s first surgery, Cohen made her a T-shirt that would become the beginnings of her charity: it read, “Fuck Cancer.”
“My mother is not the type of woman to say [that] word, never mind wear it,” Cohen said in an interview with Makers. “She wore the damn thing day in and day out.”
Fuck Cancer resonated far beyond Cohen’s own family, exceeding her expectations and becoming a force in engaging millennials, through social media, to spread awareness about cancer and early detection.
She began to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling T-shirts and other products — money she directed toward cancer-education measures.
In 2011, Cohen was named one of “12 people who are transforming philanthropy” by The Globe and Mail, alongside the likes of Bill Gates and Bono.
Other titles she’s scooped up along the way: one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women, per the Financial Post; one of Vancouver’s 40 under 40 in Vancouver Magazine; one of Elle’s 2012 Genius Award recipients … the list continues.
In 2014, amid her mounting success, Cohen married a man named Scott Braun, who goes by “Scooter.” Scooter was an American music manager who had already started making a name for himself, having already appeared on the cover of Billboard as one of 40 “Power Players On The Rise.”
Yael Cohen became Yael Cohen Braun — not, as it happens, Yael Cohen Scooter — and the following year, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together.
In 2016, Cohen Braun launched Motherlucker, an online forum that billed itself as a website for “parenthood, uncensored.”
It was designed in the kind of DIY blog-style that evokes a parent’s notebook rather than a how-to rulebook, and takes on topics like miscarriages, public breastfeeding and how to respond to strangers touching your baby.
It made sense — months after the site launched, Cohen Braun had another baby, and had already become comfortable enough with saying “Fuck Cancer” that her website could be tinged with profanities and nobody would bat an eyelash.
The now-mother of three has since expanded her empire and become a senior advisor at Bumble, which acquired the assets of Motherlucker.
At Bumble, Cohen Braun has been tasked with growing the company’s three platforms, as well as working on brand partnerships and continuing, in general, the growth of its business.
All of this is to say that there’s no doubt Cohen Braun is, in her own right, a powerhouse, but also that it’s surprising she hasn’t made any forays into fashion, considering how talented she is at — in her words — the public “airing of laundry.”
She also seems to have an ear for poetry, apparent in her claim that Swift has amassed and discarded friends “like wilted flowers.” Is there anything, then, that Cohen Braun can’t do?
Anyway, if your interest description includes watching celebrities dogpile and wrestle and fight over some obscure and distant situation that really has nothing to do with you, but that you can’t stop paying attention to anyway, just keep your eyes glued to Twitter. The Swifties, like little investigative journalists, are bound to dig up more and more dirt to feed your private entertainment.
The celebrity laundry, it seems, won’t be drying anytime soon.