Two years after Scooter Braun's Ithaca purchased Nashville-based record company Big Machine, his character came into question when Taylor Swift had a rapid response to the big move. Braun obtained rights to all of the master recordings of Swift's first six studio albums as part of the purchase, something she was not pleased with. After a long game of he-said-she-said, Braun was eventually labeled as a "bully," something he is defending against and now speaking on.
During an interview with Variety, Braun had the opportunity to share his side of the story and admits he is disappointed that Swift interpreted the business move in a way that was more harmful than anything. "I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal," he explained. "All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual. I don't know what story she was told. I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused it. It all seems very unfortunate. Open communication is important and can lead to understanding."
The record executive then noted that he and Swift had only met a few times in the past and each time was a pleasant experience. While he wishes her "nothing but the best" and noted how incredibly talented she is, he did say when his character came into question and when he was labeled as a "bully" is when he felt the need to clarify. "The thing that struck me the worst is the word "bully." I'm firmly against anyone ever being bullied. I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding. The one thing I'm proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me," the 40-year-old said.
"They know my character and my truth. That meant a lot to me. In the long run, I'm happy for my life's work to be the legacy I leave behind," he added. Since the purchase, Swift quickly jumped on the idea of remaking all of those albums and adding a twist the second time around — one she feels is a more personal touch. So far, she has. She's given fans a bit of nostalgia as she brings some of the first songs of her career to life again.
While Braun is well aware that he's come into question since 2019, he understands it part of being successful. "Sure. And I think when you're successful, you are misunderstood. Success is a game of chess, and sometimes on that chessboard, people don't see what you're doing until four or five moves in. There's always going to be a misconception because people want to see things the way they want to see them. But it would be really nice if we all give each other a bit of grace."