Scooter Braun got candid in a recent interview, sharing his thoughts on Taylor Swift and her fanbase.
In a conversation with Ari Melber for MSNBC’s The Beat, Braun discussed acquiring Swift’s masters and how he doesn’t appreciate artists “weaponizing” their fanbase.
“The person who owned Taylor’s masters throughout her career was not myself, and when I was buying a record label, I actually said to that group, ‘If at any point she wants to come back and be a part of this conversation, please let me know because I wouldn’t do this deal,’” Braun said in the interview.
He continued: “I was shown an email – which has now been made public – where she stated that she wanted to move on that negotiation and wasn’t interested in doing that deal anymore.”
Braun later added that he felt “Taylor has every right to re-record”, saying: “She has every right to pursue her masters, and I wish her nothing but well, and I have zero interest in saying anything bad about her.”
The music executive, who works with Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato, also said that although he’s “never said anything bad about [Swift] in the past, and I won’t start to now” that the only thing he disagrees with is “weaponizing a fanbase.”
Watch the interview below.
Braun did not specifically say that the pop star had incited her fans to attack him, but said that fans getting riled up can lead to unsafe conditions for families. After purchasing Swift’s master, he said in a now-deleted November 2019 Instagram post that he received “numerous death threats”.
The music executive went on to say that artists who “weaponize” their fans usually know “what it’s like to be ridiculed” and said artists need to have a level of “responsibility with a fanbase.”
Swift is currently remaking all of her albums up to 2017’s ‘Reputation’ following the controversy around Braun’s $300 million acquisition of Swift’s former label Big Machine Label Group. This sale included the recorded masters and ownership of Swift’s first six albums. At the time of purchase, Swift penned a piece on Tumblr, that addressed what she called “manipulative bullying” from Scooter and his clients.
“I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world,” she wrote, adding: “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
Swift went on to share examples, noting, “Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it.” The singer also included a screenshot of a now-deleted Instagram post Justin Bieber shared, which showed him face timing Kanye West with the caption “Taylor Swift what up”.
In a four-star review of her most recent re-recording, ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’, NME‘s Hannah Mylrea said the album “largely follows in the footsteps of ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’, celebrating the music of Swift’s past without making any major changes”.
“It’s not an exercise of rethinking and tweaking old songs, but to take back ownership of her own music. The production here is a little sharper, with the instrumentation being brought further into focus.”
Meanwhile, Swift is set to feature in the new David O. Russel film Amsterdam which will be released on November 4. The film which stars John David Washington, Margot Robbie and Christian Bale, is a period piece which has been described as an “original romantic crime epic.”