Scooter Braun finally broke his silence on the drama between Taylor Swift and the Big Machine Label Group. The businessman and manager has stayed silent as Swift and label head Scott Borchetta have publicly talked about the drama surrounding ownership of her master recordings. Braun's Ithaca Holdings purchased the record label earlier this year. While he did not address the controversy directly or mention Swift by name, Braun made it clear he is willing to have a conversation about the drama.
Braun spoke about a variety of topics during a Q&A at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference. When discussing charitable efforts of some of his clients like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Dan + Shay, Braun said, "My grandpa used to say, when your glass keeps getting poured full, you better pour it in other glasses or it makes a mess. And that's a philosophy I have. And I know she's gonna ask me soon."
"It's hard, when you've tried to live your life that way, when other people are trying to say that you don't live your life that way… Because you can't make everyone like you," he said during the Variety-sponsored discussion. "You can't get all the facts straight. But I think the only thing you can do is hope for communication... And I know where you're going to go. I'm kind of getting ahead to it. Ask the question!"
Variety's Shirley Halperin asked him how he handles the avalanche of Swift supporters describing him as the villain in the drama surrounding her master recordings. The latest drama involved Swift publicly claiming Braun and Borchetta were blocking her from performing a medley of her old songs at the 2019 American Music Awards, where she is expected to receive the Artist of the Decade award.
"I haven't talked about this in six months. Not once. I haven't made a statement about it," he said at the event. "When there's a lot of things being said and a lot of different opinions, yet the principals haven't had a chance to speak to each other, there's a lot of confusion. I'm not going to go into details here, because it's just not my style. I just think we live in a time of toxic division, and of people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations. And I don't like politicians doing it. I don't like anybody doing it, and if that means that I've got to be the bad guy longer, I'll be the bad guy longer, but I'm not going to participate."
He reportedly referenced Big Machine's official statement on the AMAs debacle, saying negotiations are happening until they broke off when Swift made her claims on social media last week. The claims led to Big Machine finally allowing Swift to do her medley performance as planned, expected to take place during Sunday's live telecast of the awards.
"What I'll say is, people need to communicate, and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out," Braun said. "And I think a lot of times things are miscommunications, because I believe that people are fundamentally good. I think there are a lot of real problems in the world, and I think that these problems that are being discussed can be discussed behind closed doors and figured out pretty easily, and it's something I've wanted to do for six months. And it's hard, because I can handle it pretty easily, but when it gets to a place where there's death threats and there's offices being called and people being threatened... it's gotten out of hand. And I think people need to come together and have a conversation, because that's not what we got in this industry for.
"And the only good thing for me is that when you get knocked down on some stuff, you get to find out who your real friends are real quick," he added. "And watching some people in the industry who might smile in your face, and then suddenly you've got a little dent in the armor and they come trying to kick it in even more, it doesn't bother me, but it lets me know where I stand. The truth is, I have no ill will for anybody. And 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, but I'm not going to add to the narrative. I just want to fix things and set a better example for people.0comments
"I'll just say it on a grander scale. I don't like it watching it in politics. Right now we're in a scary time where people say things and then people might not be in the right mindset and do really horrible things. And we're inciting all of this by continuing these arguments in public. We just need to go behind closed doors and see if we can have a conversation. And if we're not having conversations, then I don't think we're going to find resolution."
Swift has not responded to Braun's comments so far.