Scooter Braun Reflects on Taylor Swift’s Reaction to Controversial Big Machine Deal: ‘It Makes Me Sad’

Scooter Braun reflected on the fallout from the infamous Big Machine Label Group deal in a new interview, claiming that it still makes him “sad.”


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Scooter Braun reflected on the fallout from the infamous Big Machine Label Group deal in a new interview, claiming it makes him “sad.”

In the summer of 2019, Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Label Group, marking a deal that also included the masters to Taylor Swift’s first six albums.

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift said in a Tumblr post at the time. “Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”

In a new interview with Variety’s Shirley Halperin, Braun looked back on the deal, more specifically Swift’s reaction to it. 

“I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal. … All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual,” he said. “I don’t know what story she was told. I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused. It all seems very unfortunate.”

Braun added that, in his opinion, “open communication” can lead to understanding. He also said he and Swift only met “briefly three or four times” in person, noting that he considers her to be “an incredibly talented artist” for whom he wishes “nothing but the best.”

Continuing, Braun was asked about this facet of business feeling “personal in tone,” at which point the Ithaca founder—whose management roster includes Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and more—took issue with being described as a bully by Swift and fans.

“I’m firmly against anyone ever being bullied,” Scooter said. “I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding. The one thing I’m proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me.”


Braun also gave his thoughts on whether this era of his career has resulted in “misconceptions” about him, resulting in a chess analogy. Read the full interview here.

Swift said back in 2019 that she had learned about Braun’s purchase of the masters “as it was announced to the world,” adding that she received “incessant, manipulative bullying” at Braun’s hands for years.

“Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter,” she said. “Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did.”

Then, last November, it was reported that Braun had sold the master rights for more than $300 million. In a quickly released statement, Swift announced she was in the process of re-recording her early catalog.

This November, Swift will unveil Red (Taylor’s Version), the second entry in her series of re-recorded albums. The first, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), arrived back in April and became the first re-recorded album in Billboard chart history to hit No. 1.

“This will be the first time you hear all 30 songs that were meant to go on Red,” Swift told fans of the upcoming second entry in her re-recorded canon when announcing it earlier this month. “And hey, one of them is even ten minutes long.”

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