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Image / Living / Culture

‘Confusing’: Scooter Braun speaks out over Taylor Swift ‘feud’


by Jennifer McShane
23rd Jun 2021
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Braun denied that he was a bully and said he gave Swift the option to buy back her masters catalog, but Swift has always said it should have been hers in the first place.

Scooter Braun is addressing the ongoing animosity between him and Taylor Swift. Speaking with Variety for a cover story, Braun admitted his record company, Big Machine, acquired the entirety of Swift’s masters, and offered to let the star buy back her own catalog, but this in itself was an issue – Swift argued she should not have to buy back work that she created.

Swift was offered this opportunity, she says. Swift refused.

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead, I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” Swift said in 2019.

“I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”

Braun 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.”

 He 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. “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 continued.

In the aftermath of Big Machine’s acquisition of her master catalog (which Braun eventually sold), Swift decided to re-record all six of her albums associated with the deal, which she has affectionally labelled as “Taylor’s Versions.

It seems unlikely that Swift would go to the mammoth effort of re-recording every song on each album of her career, if you were going with Braun’s over-simplified/playing the victim version of events. At the end of the day, he bought and sold a young woman’s life work, only offering a chance for her to ‘buy’ it back again – you can be damn sure it would not have happened if she were a male in the industry.

We still stand with Taylor.

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