Entertainment

Scooter Braun received 'numerous death threats' following Taylor Swift post

Music manager and Big Machine Records owner Scooter Braun has responded to Taylor Swift's recent Twitter message. Braun took to Instagram to share he fears for his safety, and is pleading for a meeting with the musician.

Braun's statement just the latest response in social media-fuelled battle

Taylor Swift, left, and music manager Scooter Braun, right, have been engaged in a highly public debate concerning the ownership of Swift's music. (Getty Images)

Music manager and owner of Big Machine Records Scooter Braun has responded to the ongoing debate between himself and musician Taylor Swift. Taking to Instagram, Braun stated he and his family have received '"numerous death threats" following Swift's request for her fans to reach out to him in response to an ongoing dispute about rights to Swift's recorded music. 

"I came home tonight to find my wife had received a phone call threatening the safety of our children," Braun wrote on Friday in an open letter to the musician.

"Thinking of my wife and children, my team and their families, I have gone through a range of emotions on how to deal with this."

The post went on to detail his reported attempts to contact Swift, as well as include a screenshot of a threatening message sent to him.

In his letter, Swift's former manager stated that his past attempts to reach out to the singer — going back for six months — have been ignored, and his Instagram post was a last resort to resolve the issue.

"At this point with safety becoming a concern I have no choice other than to publicly ask for us to come together and try to find a resolution."

Braun and Swift's long dispute centres around the rights to her recorded music. Swift signed with Big Machine at 15, leaving for Universal Music Group last November. Since then, the two sides have repeatedly clashed over Swift's ability to perform her old songs, and Big Machine's ability to profit from them. 

Those issues came to a head in mid-November, when Swift won the "Artist of the Decade" prize for the American Music Awards, to be given out at a ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 24. In a Nov. 14 Twitter post, Swift stated that she had been planning to perform a medley of her old music onstage, but Big Machine was blocking her from doing so. 

In addition, she claimed that Braun and Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta had blocked an upcoming Netflix documentary about her life from using her older music or performance footage. 

"This is WRONG," Swift wrote in her post.

"Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans."

Swift went on to ask her fans to reach out and "let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this." Big Machine later released a statement denying all of her claims, and Braun's letter refuted them as well.

Braun wrote that Swift could perform "any song you would like at the AMAs. I have never and would never say otherwise. You do not need anyone's permission to do so legally but I am stating it here clearly and publicly so there is no more debate or confusion."

'I'll be the bad guy,' says Braun

For months, Braun had refrained from speaking publicly about his dispute with Swift, only breaking that silence in a statement shortly before his Instagram post.

"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," Braun told Variety's Shirley Halperin in a live Q&A session on Thursday. "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."

On Twitter, some fans have critiqued Braun's response, calling his complaints disingenuous. Support for Swift ignited immediately after her first post, with hashtags "IStandWithTaylor" and "FreeTaylor" trending worldwide soon after.

Swift has yet to reply to Braun's statements.