Scooter Braun on Taylor Swift: ‘People need to come together & have a conversation’

Save the Children

I’m kind of torn up about the fact that I’ll have to tape The Dublin Murders and watch the American Music Awards live, all because it’s my job to bear witness to Taylor Swift’s latest orchestrated victim performance. Again, I think it sucks that Taylor Swift doesn’t own her masters. Again, I also think it sucks that instead of treating this like what it is – a business deal – she’s lied and sicced her fans on her perceived enemies, and said nothing as the Snake Fam doxxed and threatened employees of Big Machine. Taylor’s AMA performance is going to be… a lot. And I’d rather watch The Dublin Murders.

Anyway, Scooter Braun knows that Taylor is about to try to turn him into the Nu Kanye, so that’s why he’s trying to get ahead of her AMA performance. Scooter participated in a Q&A session at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference, co-sponsored by Variety. Variety had his comments, which you can read here. Some highlights:

On being cast as the villain in Swift’s soap opera: “I haven’t talked about this in six months. Not once. I haven’t made a statement about it. 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.”

Communication is key: “What I’ll say is, people need to communicate, and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out. 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… 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.

On conflict resolution: “I know this is going to be the most controversial thing I say. I don’t know where we got messed up along the way that we decided being politically correct is more important than having conflict resolution. … People are allowed to grow as human beings. They’re allowed to have conversations. They’re allowed to change their mind. They’re allowed to go from not liking to each other to liking each other, and vice versa. But you don’t find that out just yelling at each other. You find that out by showing each other respect and having a conversation.”

[From Variety]

It’s not anything I didn’t already know/assume: Scooter Braun is coming at this situation as a businessman and manager. Taylor Swift is coming at this as an artist who is significantly immature. She has access to the best lawyers, auditors, accountants and managers in the business, and it speaks volumes to me that she still refuses to go into a meeting (with her lawyer, with her manager) with Scooter Braun, the man who owns the bulk of her catalog, and that she thinks her best business option is weaponizing her fanbase. She’s just gotten it into her head that Braun is her enemy because… a few of his clients have sh-ttalked her and made fun of her and even exposed her lies. Anyway…

Update: Scooter posted this to his Instagram after this Q&A discussion. The Snake Fam is truly calling up his house and threatening his wife and children.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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35 Responses to “Scooter Braun on Taylor Swift: ‘People need to come together & have a conversation’”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Scooter posted this morning about how his family is receiving death threats – like someone called his house and threatened his wife. He posted a screenshot of a messag he received about he and his kids should die. He put out a statement asking Taylor to get her fans to stand down.

    The legalities and the business aspects to this are one thing.

    There is no excuse for this behavior from her fans and Taylor absolutely needs to address it.

  2. BaronSamedi says:

    Taylor may be (barely) winning the PR war she created but in the long run it is not going to affect the business side of things. Scooter is not just going to give her the masters because people are mean to him online. That’s the part where her immaturity comes through.

    It’s obvious that this situation will be resolved by one thing only: money. Taylor Swift has all the resources and connections to make selling the masters back to her financially interesting for Big Machine.

    If this were really about artist’s right in general and not just her being pissy she would be out there advocating for legislation or maybe put money in a legal fund for upcoming artists to get good legal representation for deal signings.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Well it will affect his business if she does go ahead and re-record all her old masters and then releases them under her new label, which she has said she will do next year. When that happens the masters that are owned by BMG pretty much become worthless as their value massively drops and Braun will have some very unhappy backers at the Carlyle Group who gave him the $300mill and are not going to get a return on their investment.

      To me this is not really about her performing at the AMA but more about BMG trying to stop her from re-recording her masters before they have a chance to recoup their investment. They’ve tried to leverage the AMA performance and Netflix deal to get her to agree not to do it. Its about Scooter trying to control her in the same way he control’s Bieber and Ariana Grande. Its a common dirty practice in that industry, using the artists masters to manipulate.

      Personally I don’t think Scooter truly understands how far Taylor is willing to push this, she’s not someone who knows when to stop pushing and she doesn’t care about the consequences either. Taylor has the fan base to make the new recordings a success.

      However, saying all of the above she needs to stop using her fans to bullying and threaten people. One of these days it will go too far.

      • Erinn says:

        100% agreement with you, DU.

        The fans escalated to a point where there’s no way that she shouldn’t be addressing this. There’s a difference between calling out greasy business dealings and harassment and deaththreats.

        Scooter is a skeezy little dude, patting himself on the back for not publicly speaking out about it before. But let’s not pretend he didn’t use lawyers, Bieber and his wife as his mouthpieces.

      • Christina says:

        Digital Unicorn, I agree 100%. She is a garbage person who takes everything personally, BUT she has power that he didn’t anticipate that she’d use. She is fighting like a Dysfunctional and entitled weirdo, but she is willing to scorch earth to get what she wants. She ain’t going into no meeting. He needs to recoup that money, so he did what is done in all industries: we need to make money, and her re-recording will lose us money, so all we’ve got is to negotiate what we want for what she wants, but she is focused on destroying the deal, not continuing on like Bieber and Grande.

        He made a massive business error. Don’t invest in people who don’t want to work with you. He thought she’d be like the artists he works with who need him to make money, and Bieber and Grande did need him to teach them the business. They haven’t revolted, but, if contracts run out and he isn’t nice, they could eventually. They could also stay for years.

        Prince did this, but he was classy about it. He didn’t act like an entitled douche bag. He played a game and just kept repeating the same things over and over. As a black man, he wrote “slave” on his cheek when he had to show for Warner Brothers events. He made his name a symbol until he could get paid using it again. She is an entitled douche bag. Braun is now in the public appeals section of this that he was trying to avoid. You don’t want death threats? Don’t work with her and mess it up, because she has an army, or don’t piss her off and think that she will negotiate like others do. She is too beloved. She is sort of the Donald Trump of the music industry.

        I still hate-respect her, because I remember the Prince saga, and she isn’t messing around. It’s personal. She’d rather potentially destroy her career than let him make one dime off of her work. If she keeps doing this, people grow older and have experiences and her fans will start to catch on. Some of the people at Big Machine who received death threats may have been fans before the death threats. They will start to spread the word that she is bad news, and the more she does this type of stuff, the more that fans will realize it. It will take a few years, and she will win against BMG, but it will effect her eventually. She makes music, she isn’t getting conservatives onto the Supreme Court or loading them all over the country. They will stop supporting her as long as she keeps using the fans and they start to canabilize themselves. It will take a while because she is so strategic, but ugly eventually loses.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Very well said, Digital Unicorn.

      • Maude says:

        What you said is correct – this is about re-recording everything. I used to work in the music industry, here is how I think this is going to go down:

        Big box retailers and record stores buy stock (and cds/vinyl) at a seriously discounted rate. They will make massive orders, and typically reorder some back catalogue records when an artist releases a new record. If they don’t sell enough of a particular record, they can ship it back to the label/distributor for a refund.

        Here’s why re-recording everything is more dangerous than you think financially for Scooter – she can essentially hold the retailers hostage, Saying, you won’t get my new record unless you ship back all of the old stock, and buy the re-recordings. And I think she will do the same on the digital platforms. Essentially, remove the old stuff if you want new stuff.

        If I were her management, that is how I would do it. He has been in the music industry, and he knows how this stuff works.

        I’m not wild about how Taylor has handled everything here – I think she makes good points in a bad way, essentially shooting herself in the foot. Being a female artist is exceptionally difficult, and people are very hard on female artists. (A common complaint is that she writes about her exes, which is something almost every male artist ever has done, but receive far less censure). She absolutely should tell her fans not to issue death threats, and she should have put a stop to it prior to this moment.

        But I also do know male record executives, and I know people like Scooter Braun, and know he is not some victim. He is manipulating the situation here, too. He’s just as lawyered up, feigning taking the high road.

    • Golly Gee says:

      @baron
      In fairness she does advocate for musicians. In her contract with Universal music, she stipulated that all artists who signed with that label would get royalties from spotify plays.
      @erin
      I was thinking the same thing. While Scooter may not have personally used social media, his wife and artists he represented did. So B.S.
      This still does not excuse the way Taylor has gone about getting her way.

  3. Arizona says:

    the fact that this has been going on for a week and she hasn’t come out and told her fans that she wanted support, not death threats and bullying, speaks volumes. and is a huge part of why people think she’s just as much of a bully as anyone else.

    once again, I agree with her in theory, but the way she executed it makes me not be on her side.

  4. broodytrudy says:

    God she is the worst.

  5. Cdog says:

    Wow Taylor has put me in the rare position (rare for me at least) of sympathizing with a rich, white man over a woman. She is a vile person for not speaking out against the threats. Scooter comes across as mature and reasonable. She is fulfilling that “crazy scorned woman” archetype. Ugh!

  6. Lucy says:

    No side on all of this , but what I find gross is him joining in groupchats with teenage swifties before and even last week… just seems wrong to me

  7. Celebitchy says:

    I have a date on Sunday I’m pissed about the AMAs! Also my mom loves Dublin Murders! Now I have to watch that.

  8. Maria says:

    She is the worst kind of bully that can look in the mirror and see nothing wrong with her behavior. I am not a fan of his either I think he doesn’t treat his artist very well. But Taylor has been consistently horrible. She to me exhibits narcissistic traits where she is never at fault for anything. She is almost 30 years old and has not matured throughout the years and her need to hold onto that victimhood mentality is not helping her.

  9. Purplehazeforever says:

    She needs to address the death threats against Braun’s family…that IS taking it too far. But I don’t think Braun understands who he is dealing with. She will rerecord her masters next year. She will push the issue & not negotiate. She feels wronged, regardless of whether she was.

  10. Golly Gee says:

    I wonder what the legal repercussions would be if one of her fans did hurt someone in his family? I mean if she incited it and did nothing to stop it, is she not culpable?

  11. No Doubt says:

    She’s just the worst. If she has receipts, then show them or go to court.

  12. T says:

    Her silence as reports and now Scooter’s own statement about threats and violence speaks volumes. She thinks she “won”, but her toxicity is showing.

  13. Lucy says:

    Taylor Swift is a manipulative scheming minx, but Scooter Braun doesn’t exactly have a face that screams honest trustworthy person either. His family does not deserve death threats from Taylor’s internet army though. She needs to grow up.

  14. Sandra Martinez says:

    The fact that she even called on her fan base at all in this debacle was baffling to me. She knows her fan base and knows bow social media works. The fact that she has stood by and said nothing after seeing how crazy these people are being shows who she really is. She is an asshole. Used to love her music but can’t support this.

  15. jammypants says:

    Let’s be real here. She wanted this. It’s so frikin obvious. Horrible person.

  16. Liz version 700 says:

    He seems likens real creep. But her behavior is as usual OTT. There is no excuse to not call back the crazy fans in case one of them goes overboard. No one does victim like Taylor and this guy may have bitten off more than he can chew. This is two. creeps going to battle. It will be like a rainbow glitter soaked rendition of a “Westside Story” dance-off.

  17. Ivy says:

    i have no reason to trust what scooter says and i wouldn’t be surprised if this was just one of his schemes to turn everything against taylor while painting himself as the victim

    • Gingerbread says:

      Well considering his comment section on IG was public a little while ago, you can clearly see the death threats on some of his posts. He is not lying about this. Taylor doesn’t need any help in trying to look bad in this debacle.

  18. Cat Ca says:

    There is no doubt that Taylor Swift will
    re-record all of her old music. This is a woman that has multiple videos/songs with revenge as the key component. There’s no way she will give up the chance to live out a revenge plot in real life.

    The assumption though is that the
    re-recordings will make the originals obsolete. That’s a big gamble for her. Can she really capture the magic of the originals?
    Do consumers really want a do-over of music they already purchased before?
    Do music lovers really want to hear that stuff again?

    I have to wonder how her new label feels about the re-recordings. Will they have to put up the money for her vanity project?
    All of the time/effort/money to revisit her old music instead of recording NEW albums that can make them money.

    She truly is a narcissist.

  19. Senator Fan says:

    Neither of them are stellar people, they are both flawed. Receiving death threats is on another level. She should instruct her fans to tone it down. She basically told them to go harass and bully everyone involved. She’s lost her whining rights regarding bullying from Kanye and Justin. The threats, harassment and bullying is all there for anyone to see. If this was anyone else in any other industry charges would have been laid by now. I’m disgusted and will not support her any more. I won’t listen to her music and will watch the awards and fast forward through her performance.

    I don’t’ see this ending well.

  20. Serenity says:

    Taylor’s silence regarding the death threats from her fans is truly sickening.

  21. Jules says:

    She has bent the truth for far too long and it has now exploded. This is a girl who dressed up like a dying Katie Perry and assaulted Kim K. in her music video. It was not funny at all. She also claimed her father has no affiliation to her label when his lawyer was at every meeting , representing him. She asked her fans to make their opinion known…shame on her.

  22. Meg says:

    Taylor seemed to do this previously with her friendships, manipulate conflict then when called on her actions shrug her shoulders and say ‘who, me?’
    Narcissists get off on that

  23. Lola says:

    Just file in Court already, and get the police involved with the death threats, anything else is just not dealing with the elephant in the room. Can’t deal with this made up drama. If you wanna play with the drama, give her the citation during the AMAs, sometimes you just need to escalate the conflict, IN COURT NOT with death threats, in order to resolve the conflict.