Scooter Braun hasn’t publicly spoken about the battles between Taylor Swift and the Big Machine Label Group in the nearly half-year since his Ithaca Holdings purchased her former record label. He broke his silence Thursday in a Q&A at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference, co-sponsored by Variety and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, in which he acceded to addressing the inevitable.
That didn’t mean he was going to address the specifics of the mega-squabble or even say Swift’s name out loud. But he did make his message loud and clear: Let’s talk.
Talking about the charitable efforts of SB Projects clients like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Dan + Shay, Braun said, “My grandpa used to say, when your glass keeps getting poured full, you better pour it in other glasses or it makes a mess. And that’s a philosophy I have. And I know she’s gonna ask me soon,” he said, smiling, looking toward moderator Shirley Halperin, the executive editor for music of Variety. “It’s hard, when you’ve tried to live your life that way, when other people are trying to say that you don’t live your life that way… Because you can’t make everyone like you. You can’t get all the facts straight. But I think the only thing you can do is hope for communication… And I know where you’re going to go. I’m kind of getting ahead to it. Ask the question!”
Halperin asked how Braun “wraps his head around” having so many Swift supporters casting him as the villain in the situation, which has culminated — so far — in a very public debate about whether the singer can perform hits from her Big Machine catalog on Sunday night’s American Music Awards.In case you care about this quarrel between two incredibly rich people, the video below does the best job I've seen of sorting out the legal and personal issues:
Braun nodded to a camera he saw filming the conversation and acknowledged a touch of awkwardness, knowing he was about to issue his first public statement on the contretemps. “I haven’t talked about this in six months. Not once. I haven’t made a statement about it,” he 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 of 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. 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.” (A rep for Swift did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.)
The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.