Taylor Swift has been vocal in her disapproval of music manager Scooter Braun, ever since his company bought her back catalogue in June this year.
The star has accused him of “incessant, manipulative bullying,” and recently claimed he tried to stop her performing her own songs at an awards show.
But Braun, whose clients include Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, has remained silent about their feud… until now.
“It’s gotten out of hand,” he observed during a music industry summit in LA.
“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.
“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.”
“The truth is, I have no ill will for anybody. And the moment people want to have a conversation with me, I’m ready to have that conversation.”
‘A lot of confusion’
Swift’s anger was initially sparked by one of Braun’s on-off clients, Kanye West, who has been a thorn in her side for years.
After interrupting her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Awards, he taunted her in song, and put a naked waxwork of her in one of his music videos.
Swift felt that Braun had encouraged and endorsed this behaviour; and exacerbated the hurt by posing for a photograph with West and Bieber that was posted to Instagram with the caption “What up Taylor”.
So when his company, Ithaca holdings, paid $300m (£232m) to acquire Swift’s former record label, Big Machine, and take control of her first six albums, the star interpreted it as an act of aggression, that “stripped me of my life’s work”.
The relationship has remained tense, with Swift announcing plans to re-record her early hits; and claiming Braun and Big Machine had tried to stop her performing her old hits on TV (for more context on that, read this article).
Asked about the very public fall-out during a Q&A at the Entertainment Industry Conference, Braun refused to address the specifics, or even to say Swift’s name, and insisted the matter should be resolved “behind closed doors”.
“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.”
Referencing the fact that staff at Big Machine had been harassed after Swift made her grievances public, Braun made a plea for calmer heads to prevail.
“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,” he said.
“What I’ll say is, people need to communicate, and when people are able to communicate, I think they work things out,” Braun said. “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.”
Swift has yet to respond to his comments.