Nearly two years to the day since the music business’s most compelling feud began, record executive and manager to the stars Scooter Braun is addressing the ongoing animosity between him and Taylor Swift. Speaking with Variety for a cover story, Braun rehashed the news that first broke in June 2019, which was that his record company, Big Machine, acquired the entirety of Swift’s masters, which Swift alleged at the time was done out of spite and gave her no chance to buy them back herself. Braun now denies that his intentions were evil, and even alleges that he made good-faith attempts to work with Swift throughout the acquisition.
“I regret it, and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal. All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual,” Braun told Variety. “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 all seems very unfortunate.” This contradicts Swift’s previous assertion that she was never “given an opportunity to buy” back her work, as well as her claim that she learned about the acquisition when the public did.
“Open communication is important and can lead to understanding,” Braun continued. “She and I only met briefly three or four times in the past, and all our interactions were really friendly and kind. I find her to be an incredibly talented artist and wish her nothing but the best.” Braun also told Variety that he was confused when Swift wrote that she had been on the receiving end of his “incessant, manipulative bullying” for several years, which was exacerbated by the behavior of his famous clients Justin Bieber and Kanye West. “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,” Braun explained. “The one thing I’m proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me. 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.” So, who do we think is lying now?
In the aftermath of Big Machine’s acquisition of her master catalogue (which Braun eventually sold to an investment fund), Swift decided to re-record all six of her albums associated with the deal, which she has affectionally labelled as “Taylor’s Versions.” She has already released the No 1.-charting Fearless in April, and will continue with Red in the fall.