Scooter Braun has kept silent about a dispute with Taylor Swift following his Ithaca Holdings company acquiring her former label, Big Machine Label Group, over the summer. On Thursday, he addressed the issue without naming the pop star during a Q&A with Shirley Halperin, Variety‘s executive editor of music, at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference, Variety reports.
“I haven’t talked about this in six months. Not once. I haven’t made a statement about it,” Braun said. “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. 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 people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations.
“And I don’t like politicians doing it,” he continued. “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. What I’ll say is I think people need to communicate and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out.”
Braun and Ithaca Holdings’ acquisition of Big Machine gave him and his company ownership of Swift’s back catalog, and was met with disapproval from the singer, who took to Tumblr at the time and accused Braun of “incessant, manipulative bullying” and later, Swift also proposed re-recording her back catalog of songs. Earlier this month, she claimed on Tumblr that Big Music Label Group’s Scott Borchetta and Braun told her she was not allowed to perform her old songs at the upcoming American Music Awards, a claim which Big Machine has refuted.
During the Q&A, he continually emphasized a need to communicate without going into specifics. “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,” he said. “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. And I think people need to come together and have a conversation, because that’s not what this is about and that’s not what we got into this industry for.”
A rep for Taylor Swift did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Swift is scheduled to perform at the American Music Awards on Sunday, where she will also receive the Artist of the Decade award. The Q&A closed with Halperin asking if Braun would be in attendance, to which Braun responded with a laugh, and said, “Thanks, everybody.”