For the first time since acquiring the rights to Taylor Swift’s music – which prompted her to publicly accuse him of ‘bullying’ her for years – Scooter Braun spoke on the feud and says he they need to have a ‘conversation’ behind closed doors.
“I haven’t talked about this in six months, not once,” Scooter Braun said at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. During the Nov. 21, the subject of Scooter’s acquisition of Big Machine Records / Big Machine Label Group – and his very public feud with Taylor Swift – came up. Whereas Taylor has been public in expressing her frustration with an alleged “bully” owning her back catalog, Scooter has been quiet – until now. “I haven’t made a statement about it, and that’s hard. It’s hard because a lot of things being said and a lot of different opinions [being expressed], yet the principle [actors] haven’t been given a chance to speak to each other. There’s a lot of confusion.” Scooter said that he wasn’t “going to go into details” because it wasn’t his “style. Yet, he said that he thinks we live in “a time of toxic division, [where] people thinking that social media is an appropriate place to air out at each other and not have conversations.”
“I don’t like politicians doing it. I don’t like anybody doing it. If that means I’ve got to be the bad guy longer, then I’ll be the bad guy longer, but I’m not going to participate. What I’ll say is that people need to communicate. When people are able to communicate, they’re able to work things out.” Scooter also said that certain problems can be discussed “behind closed doors and figured out pretty easily. It’s something I wanted to do for six months.”
“It’s hard because, I can handle it pretty easily, but when it gets to a place of death threats, and there are offices being called, and people being threatened, I just think it’s gotten out of hand. I think we need to come together and have a conversation because that’s not what it’s about. It’s not what we got into this industry for.” Scooter added that “the moment people want to have a conversation with me, I’m ready to have that conversation. And I’m not going to add to the narrative – I disagree with it – I’m not going to add to the narrative. I just want to fix things and set a better example. I don’t like where this is going.
“I don’t know how we got messed up all the way that we decided being politically correct is more important than having conflict resolution,” he added. “You need to speak to each other. People are allowed to grow as human beings. They’re allowed to have conversations. They’re allowed to change their minds. They’re allowed to go from not liking each other to liking each other, but you don’t find that out by yelling at each other. You find that out by showing each other respect and having a conversation.”
Taylor publicly aired her grievances against Scooter Braun in June after he acquired the rights to her music (up to 2017’s Reputation album) after purchasing Big Machine Label Group for a reported $300 million. On her Tumblr account, Taylor accused him of “incessant, manipulative bullying” over the years.”
Recently, ahead of the 2019 American Music Awards, Taylor took to Tumblr again to accuse Scooter and Big Machine’s founder Scott Borchetta of preventing her from performing her old music at the event. Big Machine Records denied Taylor’s claim (“Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist.”). She then released messages that allege BLMG blocked the use of her music in an upcoming Netflix documentary and during an event in China. She also claims that Big Machine owes her nearly $8 million in unpaid royalties.
BLMG announced on Nov. 18 that they “come to terms on a licensing agreement” that allowed Taylor to perform her a medley of her old music during the AMAs, according to Entertainment Tonight. However, Dick Clark Productions, which produces the AMAs, told ET that, “At no time did Dick Clark Productions agree to, create, authorize or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team.”