Scooter Braun says Taylor Swift fans have threatened his family amid their feud
Mess with Scooter Braun and he’s fine. Threaten his wife and kids? That’s when the game changes, even if you’re Taylor Swift.
The manager-producer, who’s been locked in a public fight with Swift over her back catalog, which his company now owns, posted an open letter overnight on social media addressing the music star directly. He included a sample of a threat he had received via direct message.
The missive came after Braun returned home to find that his wife had received a phone call threatening her and their children, he wrote on Instagram.
"[I]t is important that you understand that your words carry a tremendous amount of weight and that your message can be interpreted by some in different ways,” said the 38-year-old, who acquired Swift’s original label, Big Machine, earlier this year. Earlier Thursday, he said at an industry event that he wouldn’t air his grievances on social media.
“While disappointed that you have remained silent after being notified by your attorney 4 days ago of these ongoing threats, I’m still hopeful we can fix this,” he said.
In a letter to her fans posted Nov. 14 on social media, Swift called out Braun and Big Machine Label Group founder Scott Borchetta as having said that she can’t perform a medley of her hits at the American Music Awards, “because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.” She also accused them of refusing to OK the use of old songs and performance footage in an upcoming Netflix documentary.
“Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this,” pleaded Swift, who’s now signed to Republic Records, another Universal Music Group label. “Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work. Please ask them for help with this — I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote.”
Swift’s fans, like many ardent fan bases, are practiced in the art of pressuring anyone their “leader” points them toward. Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Halsey, Sara Bareilles and Lily Allen were among those in the music community who rallied around 29-year-old superstar’s cause. Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez got in on the action.
It almost feels as if you have no interest in ever resolving the conflict.
Scooter Braun, to Taylor Swift
Big Machine Label Group said in a statement Monday — four days after Swift’s Tumblr post — that the singer-songwriter was free to play any of her old songs on the AMAs broadcast, where she’s being named artist of the decade. Big Machine noted that “recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media.”
But apparently the threats against Braun and his family have continued, including one he shared on his Instagram Stories that read, “I will buy a gun tmr and them shoot you allin the head.”
“I won’t go into the details of this past week,” Braun wrote in his middle-of-the-night post. “I have been at a loss.”
He said attempts to contact Swift over the past six months had all been rejected, noting, “It almost feels as if you have no interest in ever resolving the conflict.”
Braun said he would make himself available whenever it worked for Swift.
“Many have told me that a meeting will never happen as this is not about truth or resolution but instead a narrative for you. I am hopeful that is not the case. I am right here, ready to speak directly and respectfully,” he wrote.
“But if you would prefer to make large public statements while refusing to work towards resolving things amicably then I just pray that nobody gets seriously hurt in the process.”
Swift, meanwhile, has been mostly mum on social media since her Nov. 14 post.
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.