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Scooter Braun doesn’t think it’s right for an artist to “weaponise” their fan base.
The 40-year-old business mogul became embroiled in a feud with Taylor Swift when he purchased her former record label, Big Machine Label Group, for $300 million, and with it acquired the rights to the ‘Cardigan’ hitmaker’s back catalogue.
While Scooter – who manages artists including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande – doesn’t have a problem with Taylor’s decision to re-record her old albums and take ownership of her work, he’s seemingly uncomfortable with the negative attention he’s received from her supporters as a result of the dispute.
Speaking to MSNBC, he said: “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… The only thing I disagree with is weaponising a fanbase.
“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.”
Scooter claimed some artists who “weaponise” are the same ones who know “what it’s like to be ridiculed.”
He added: “There’s a responsibility with a fanbase.”
Asked if he thinks that is what’s happened, he replied: “That’s all I’ll say about that.”
At the time of the sale, Taylor accused Scooter of “bullying” her in the past, and the record executive now says those allegations “struck [him] the worst”.
He explained: “The thing that struck me the worst is the word ‘bully.’ I’m firmly against anyone ever being bullied. 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. They know my character and my truth. That meant a lot to me. In the long run, I’m happy for my life’s work to be the legacy I leave behind.”
Scooter is also concerned his feud with Taylor has created misconceptions about him in the public eye.
He said: “I think when you’re successful, you are misunderstood. Success is a game of chess, and sometimes on that chessboard, people don’t see what you’re doing until four or five moves in. There’s always going to be misconceptions because people want to see things the way they want to see them. But it would be really nice if we all give each other a little bit of grace.”