In a Q&A at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference on Thursday, the 38-year-old music manager addressed the public fissure after keeping quiet on the matter for months since his Ithica Holdings purchased Big Machine Records back in June.
As previously reported, the $300 million sale effectively meant that Braun now owns the masters to Swift’s first six albums — a deal the singer-songwriter has called “my worst-case scenario.”
Following the sale, Swift alleged in a lengthy blog post that she was never informed of the deal and had her previous requests to buy back her masters denied. She also accused Braun of “manipulative bullying.”
The public feud continued up until last week, when Swift took to Twitter on Nov. 14 to accuse Braun and Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta of not allowing her to perform her old songs at the American Music Awards this Sunday. Big Machine has since released a statement claiming that it had come to an agreement on the use of Swift’s music at the upcoming award show.
Singer Taylor Swift performs this month in Shanghai. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
Now Braun is speaking out, explaining that he basically just wants to sit down and have a discussion with Swift, 29. Per Variety, it all started when moderator Shirley Halperin asked Braun how he “wraps his head around” having so many Swift fans casting him as the villain in the very public feud.
“I haven’t talked about this in six months. Not once. I haven’t made a statement about it,” Braun confessed, according to the outlet, which noted that Braun never dove into specifics of the dispute nor did he say Swift’s name out loud.
“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,” he continued. “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,” Braun added. 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.”
Per the outlet, Braun appeared to allude to a statement from Big Machine, which claimed that the label and Swift had been in talks, which apparently ended after she went on social media to vent her frustrations.
“What I’ll say is, people need to communicate, and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out.”
— Scooter Braun
“What I’ll say is, people need to communicate, and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out,” Braun noted. “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.
Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta pose for a photo at a private residence on June 28, 2019 in Montecito, Calif. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ithaca Holdings)
“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,” he added. “And I think people need to come together and have a conversation because that’s not what we got in this industry for.”
Braun went on to say that that the “only good thing” for him when it comes to getting knocked down is quickly finding out who your true friends are.
He continued: “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,” Braun shared.
Braun further explained that a public setting isn’t the place for certain conversations.
According to Variety, Braun then seemed to allude to the back-and-forth between Swift and his client Justin Bieber.
“I know this is going to be the most controversial thing I say,” he said. “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,” Braun concluded.
A rep for Swift did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.