Scooter Braun said he accepts being the bad guy in the very public tiff with Taylor Swift.
Braun, who came under attack by the singer after his purchase of her former record label earlier this year, was thrust back into the spotlight by Taylor when she claimed earlier this month that the label was preventing her from using her old music for a series of projects. Taylor claimed that Big Machine Records was barring her from using the music it owned for an upcoming performance at the American Music Awards for the Artist of the Decade award she was set to win.
Swift revealed the impasse in a social media post to fans, calling on them to implore Braun and fellow label head Scott Borchetta to do the right thing. This led to a major backlash against Braun, who this week spoke out for the first time.
As OK! Magazine noted, the music producer and executive addressed the situation during the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference, saying he refuses to participate in what he described as “toxic” social media discourse.
“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 conversation,” he said. “I don’t like politicians doing it. I don’t like anybody doing it. 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.”
Ironically, it was a bit of social media bullying that created the rift between Braun and Swift in the first place. At the time Braun was announced as the buyer of the record label where Taylor launched her career, the singer expressed her anguish about Braun and his marquee artist, Justin Bieber, taking to social media to bully Swift during her public feud with Kanye West. Bieber would later apologize.
In his statement on the current rift, Braun noted that he can personally handle the criticism, but said that death threats against his business office showed that “it’s gotten out of hand.”
“Right now, we’re in a scary time where people say things and then people might not be in the right mindset and do really horrible things,” he said.
Big Machine Records would reverse course on its decision not to allow Swift to use her old music, saying in a statement this week that it would license all artist performances for the American Music Awards.