American Idol Winner Phillip Phillips Seeks to Void Recording Contract
On January 22, American Idol’s season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips filed a petition to get out of the “oppressive” recording and management contract he signed with American Idol producer, 19 Entertainment.
Prior to winning the 11th season of American Idol in May of 2012, musician Phillip Phillips signed a recording, management, and merchandising deal with 19 Entertainment that he now claims is to constricting. Phillips is seeking to void the agreements because he feels the company provides too much oversight, and he wants more creative freedom. His petition claims that 19 Entertainment and its affiliates manipulate him, taking a 40% cut on endorsement deals and making him perform free for an American Idol sponsor, Jet Blue.
Phillips relies on the Talent Agencies Act, a California law that allows only licensed talent agents to secure employment for clients. The Idol winner argues that 19 Entertainment is not a licensed agent, making the gigs on Letterman, the Today Show, Ellen, and The View, violations of the TAA.
Phillips claims he tried to renegotiate, but got nowhere. A representative for 19 Entertainment told The Hollywood Reporter,
“[w]e have always acted in the best interest of Phillip. We will vigorously defend ourselves from any baseless claims to the contrary and from any attempt to interfere with our rights and relationships.”