Scooter Braun Talks Taylor Swift Masters, Artists ‘Weaponizing’ Fans – Billboard

Scooter Braun is being upfront about his headline-making business endeavors. In an interview on MSNBC‘s The Beat with Ari Melber shared to YouTube on Wednesday (April 27), the music executive — who works with Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and more — discussed how he acquired Taylor Swift‘s masters and her response to the deal, but noted that he does not appreciate when artists used their fans as a weapon against someone they do not like.


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During the interview, Braun watched a clip of Swift discussing her decision to re-record her masters. He then explained his side of the story, saying that she was presented with the option of being a part of his deal, which in 2019 saw him acquire Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records Label Group and her catalogue for $300 million. (Braun later sold Swift’s masters in 2020, while Swift set out to re-record her first five albums.)

“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. “I was shown an email — which has now been made public now — where she stated that she wanted to move on that negotiation and wasn’t interested in doing that deal anymore.”

He later continued, “I think Taylor has every right to re-record. 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. I’ve never said anything bad about her in the past, and I won’t start to now. The only thing I disagree with is weaponizing a fanbase.”

While Braun did not say that Swift herself sent her fans to attack him online, he said that fans getting riled up can lead to unsafe conditions for families. In Braun’s case, after purchasing the master, he shared in a since-deleted November 2019 Instagram post that he had received “numerous death threats.”  He said of the issue: “The artists I work with have very large fan bases. You don’t do that. It’s very dangerous. There’s people in that fan base who have mental health issues. There’s families involved, and I think that’s very, very dangerous.”

The music executive added that artists who “weaponize” their fans usually know “what it’s like to be ridiculed,” and said those artists need to have a level of “responsibility with a fanbase.” Melber then asked, “And you think that has happened?” Braun replied, “That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Watch Braun’s interview in full below.

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