Scooter Braun, who owns the masters to Taylor Swift's first six albums, has finally addressed his dispute with the singer at a Hollywood Chamber of Commerce conference.
Big Machine Label Group, the label that owns the masters of Taylor Swift's first six albums, was acquired by Scooter Braun in June. When Swift found out about Braun taking over Big Machine, she wrote on Tumblr, "I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years."
She added, "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."
Since the initial Tumblr post, there has been a bit of back and forth with Swift revealing back in August that she's planning to re-record her early releases.
Earlier this month, Swift claimed that Braun and Scott Borchetta (CEO of Big Machine) had blocked her from performing her older songs at the American Music Awards, and claimed that Borchetta had given Swift's team a list of conditions to stick to, "If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I'm both legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him [Borchetta] and Scooter Braun."
Big Machine Records denied Swift's claims of them blocking her from performing her old music soon after, writing, "At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate."
Variety reports that Braun addressed his feud with Swift at a Q+A yesterday. He said, "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."
Braun added, "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."
Earlier this morning, Braun also shared a statement on Instagram addressing the death threats his family has received since his row with Swift. He wrote, "I came home tonight to find my wife had received a phone call threatening the safety of our children."
He goes on to address Swift directly later in his statement, "I assume this was not your intention but it is important that you understand that your words carry a tremendous amount of weight and that your message can be interpreted by some in different ways."
Braun also claims that his attempts to diffuse the situation over the past six months have been "rejected", and adds, "It almost feels like as if you have no interest in ever resolving the conflict." Read the full post below.