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As allegations spread, local artist sees loss of support

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Scott Taylor

Updated Aug. 20 at 11:37 a.m.

Warning: this article contains profanity

A successful local artist accused of predatory sexual behavior is seeing backlash in the arts community.

Scott Taylor, who opened Scott Taylor Gallery on Cherry Street in Dec. 2021 and who describes himself as a contemporary pop artist, has been accused by multiple people online of a variety of offenses, including pressuring younger female artists who sought his approval into sex.

Though posters describe ongoing social media complaints about Taylor in which he is not necessarily identified, the present conflict has grown to the point where he’s been named and is seeing a loss of support.

On Aug. 11, Kylie Wells, a local DJ, posted a statement to Facebook with thoughts about artists in Tulsa who invite women to their studios for the purpose of pressuring them into sex. “It’s literally a handful of them I see in constant rotation,” wrote Wells.

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The post doesn’t specifically name Taylor, but Leslie Briggs, attorney for Wells, said it provoked reactions.

“She touched, I think on a live wire in the community, particularly the kind of much smaller local arts community here in Tulsa about an individual, about Mr. Taylor apparently. Everyone who reached out to her had stories about this same individual, despite the fact that her post didn’t name him,” said Briggs.

The post to date has 3 shares and 125 comments, with posters mentioning the “billboard guy.” Taylor is known for creating custom, colorful billboards in Tulsa.

On Aug. 16, Taylor’s stepdaughter, Madelyn Taylor, shared on Twitter a cropped photo of an undated document saying alleged claims of sexual abuse against Scott Taylor had been substantiated, with a comment attributed to Oklahoma Department of Human Services suggesting that "Ms. Taylor continue to protect the children" by not allowing them unsupervised visits with their father.

In a written statement provided through attorney Keith Flinn to Public Radio Tulsa, Scott Taylor said the document “that is being spread by my stepdaughter relates to a contentious divorce and it’s release is done so as part of an ongoing custody battle.”

As word has continued to spread, organizations are severing ties with Taylor. Living Arts, a consortium of artists, posted a statement to Facebook saying it’s putting “distance” between Taylor and the collective.

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A statement from Living Arts posted to Facebook Aug. 17.

Local publications are also removing content about Taylor. An article on tulsapeople.com with the headline “High tide: Scott Taylor is riding a wave of successes lately” has been taken down. TulsaKids Magazine also confirmed to Public Radio Tulsa that it removed online content featuring Taylor.

In his statement, Taylor said the allegations against him are false and he and his family are being harassed.

“There’s never been any filings against me ever. Now, I’m being forced to take it to the courts to clear my name. I just want the truth and justice,” wrote Taylor.

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A statement from Scott Taylor written Aug. 17, 2022

When asked when and how Taylor will pursue litigation, Taylor responded that his legal team is doing extensive work to evaluate the damage.

Briggs said she looks forward to learning more.

“If Scott believes he has some kind of claim against these women for telling their truths, I’ll be curious to see what that claim is,” said Briggs.

This article was updated to include a response from Taylor about his plans to clear his name in court as he says.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.