The Scooter Braun story is a mess… which is why I love it so much. And not for the same reason as the Swifties, who’ve been throwing a Scooter Braun is over party for days, but specifically because it’s so messy, because this gossip is so opaque, because there are multiple versions out there, because no one can figure out what’s going on.
So let’s start with what we know for sure (which isn’t much). Demi Lovato has quit Scooter. Idina Menzel has probably quit Scooter. Ariana Grande has reportedly quit Scooter but this is not yet official. And Justin Bieber might be done with him too even though some sources have denied it and others have insisted that it’s not true. But according to PEOPLE JB and Scooter haven’t spoken in nearly a year and JB is working on a new album without him.
Again, we do not yet have lock-solid confirmation that the two biggest stars involved in this story – Ariana and Justin – have dumped Scooter. But the fact that all of these names are being mentioned in succession has turned this Scooter situation into a clusterf-ck, resulting in a lot of online speculation that something dirrrrrty is about to drop and that’s why people are bouncing, so as to distance themselves from whatever is coming, even though, as I wrote yesterday, they’ve made a LOT of money off of Scooter’s shenanigans… if there are shenanigans to speak of.
Variety published an article yesterday titled “What the hell is going on in Scooter Braun’s empire?” and the whole point of it was how nobody knows what to believe. Some people are saying that “he’s imploding”, that he “just can’t be an asshole like that anymore”, and that there are “unsavoury revelations” that are about to break. Still others are claiming that all the speculation is wildly offbase and that this is quite simply a career transition for Scooter who is getting out of managing artists and spending more time in the C-suite which, frankly, is the goal for every executive. Managing artists is a pain in the ass. At a certain point you don’t want to be wrangling whoever the latest popstar is and making sure they get from show to show without f-cking it all up.
Here, though, is the most insightful paragraph in the Variety piece:
“Complicating matters is the fact that the famously hard-charging Braun, who has been one of the most powerful people in the music business for more than a decade, garnered so much ill will — and envy — in his rise to the top that the situation has reached a kind of snowballing mob mentality: The schadenfreude is so strong, and foes want him to fail so badly, that people lose perspective. Not helping matters is Braun’s fervent desire to be seen as a good guy and his formidable ability to spin narratives in his favor; the agendas and interests of the involved parties — including, apparently, some media outlets — have only clouded the matter further.”
Scooter has a lot of enemies, beyond Taylor Swift, and many if not most of them have been waiting for years to take him down. So all the rumours with a negative spin over the last few days could be coming from people who’ve been waiting for this moment to exact revenge – therefore not that reliable.
But also, Scooter is himself a master manipulator and no stranger to advancing his own narrative by engaging certain media outlets who will broadcast his message. Which means that any reporting with a positive spin about whatever’s going on with him isn’t necessarily reliable either. And that leaves us with a gossip mystery and media outlets, all of them zeroed in on the situation now, trying to figure out who actually knows the truth and is willing to tell it… without some kind of agenda, which in this business is almost impossible.
Meanwhile, after taking a few weeks off, Taylor will be back on stage in Mexico this weekend. And if she sings “Vigilante Sh-t”, I wonder if she puts some extra emphasis on these lyrics in particular:
“While he was doing lines
And crossing all of mine
Someone told his white collar crimes to the FBI”