"If I've got to be the bad guy longer, I'll be the bad guy longer, but I'm not going to participate."

By Christopher Luu
Nov 21, 2019 @ 9:00 pm

It's been six months since Scooter Braun and his company, Ithaca Holdings, purchased Big Machine Records and, in turn, Taylor Swift's entire back catalog. While Swift has been vocal about the acquisition, Braun has been eerily quiet — until now. A few days after Swift accused Big Machine of keeping her from performing her greatest hits at the American Music Awards and not allowing her to license her music for a Netflix documentary, Braun spoke about the situation at a Q&A panel at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference hosted by Variety

Braun remained civil, Variety notes, and had a simple request to Swift: he just wants to sit down and talk.

Steve Granitz/Getty Images

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"What I'll say is, people need to communicate, and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out. And I think a lot of times things are miscommunications, because I believe that people are fundamentally good. I think there are a lot of real problems in the world, and 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," Braun 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 we got in this industry for."

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Braun spoke about being painted as a villain, especially after Swift called on her fans to do anything and everything to free her music from what seemed like a Big Machine purgatory. He's fine with being the bad guy for now, because he says it'll take more than social media posts to resolve the issue. Though Swift insists that her claims are valid, Big Machine has refuted her accusations, saying that she was never barred from performing any of her material.

"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."

Swift hasn't responded to the statements made in the Q&A.

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