Women in Music 2019

Scooter Braun Says Family Has Been Threatened Since Taylor Swift Comments

Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch
Scooter Braun speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 at Moscone Convention Center on Oct. 3, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif.

“Your words carry a tremendous amount of weight,” Braun says.

Scooter Braun has issued his first comments since Taylor Swift went public with a dispute over public performances of her Big Machine catalog, with the music mogul saying his family has since been the target of "numerous death threats."

In a late-night Instagram post, Braun mentions comments he made earlier in the day at a Hollywood conference that derided "toxic division" sowed by social media turf battles, saying engaging in a public battle with Swift over their business-related disputes was "just not my style."

"However I came home tonight to find my wife had received a phone call threatening the safety of our children as well as other threats seen above," Braun writes. "Thinking of my wife and children, my team and their families, I have gone through a range of emotions on how to deal with this. I write this now after a deep breath and much reflection. I am certain there is no situation ever worth jeopardizing anyone’s safety."  

Braun goes on to tell Swift that her "words carry a tremendous amount of weight and that your message can be interpreted by some in different ways." He closes his post by claiming his team notified Swift’s attorney "4 days ago" of the threats, but that there has been no response. "I’m still hopeful we can fix this," he writes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@taylorswift

A post shared by Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) on

Swift's rep did not immediately return a request for comment.

The dispute stems from Braun's company Ithaca Holdings’ acquisition of Big Machine Label Group, the label founded by Scott Borchetta. Swift left the label for Universal Music exaclty a year ago, but Big Machine still owns her first six albums.

Last week, Swift penned a letter on social media claiming that Borchetta and Braun were blocking her planned performance of a medley of her earlier hits at the American Music Awards because "that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to next year." According to the label, the issue was about the re-broadcast and distribution of her performances, and that she was never barred from performing them. On Monday (Nov. 18), the label granted all licenses of their artists’ performances at the show to "stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms."

The label added that "recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media" and that "record label approval is only needed for contracted artists' audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed."

On stage at The Hollywood Chamber's 2019 State of the Entertainment Industry Conference earlier on Thursday, Braun took care not to mention Swift by name when discussing his and Borchetta's dispute with the superstar.

"I just think we live in a time of toxic division and people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out each other and not have conversations," he said in the interview, conducted by Variety’s Shirley Halperin. "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."

He continued, "I think that these problems that are being discussed can be discussed behind closed doors and figured out pretty easily. It's something I've wanted to do for six months. I just think it's gotten out of hand."


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