The Hollywood Reporter updates the legal drama between American Idol and season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips. While fans marvel at how the show continues to put the “Home” singer front and center of promotions for the fifteenth and final season of the series, it looks like things could come to a head just as Idol premieres on January 6.
Phillip filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner (CLC) earlier this year, in an effort to void his deals with companies affiliated with Idol producer 19 Entertainment. He claimed the management contract he signed coming off his win doesn’t follow the Talent Agencies Act, the California law that says only licensed talent agents can procure employment for clients.
Typically, according to THR, it’s not a quick process to adjudicate disputes with the TAA, but “surprisingly” the CLC has scheduled a hearing to discuss the issue in the case on December 4, only a month before Idol premieres.
Complicating the issue further is a lawsuit Idol filed in September against Phillip’s new manager, Michael McDonald for having “unceremoniously duped Phillips into attempting to terminate” 19’s relationship with the alum.
19’s lawsuit alleges that Phillip became a star thanks to the company’s “tireless efforts.” The singer made 5 million dollars in 2013 alone, 19 claims. McDonald “actively pursued Phillips whenever possible” and was pressured to leave 19, which resulted in Phillip filing the action with the CLC.
19 filed court papers last week, disputing the claim, saying that it didn’t need to demonstrate the existence of a valid contract to prevail. If there happen to be issues with the existing contract, the CLC could excise the problematic portions, rather than void the entire relationship.
McDonald wants to the lawsuit paused until the CLC issues are sorted out. 19 counters that a stay “would stop this litigation dead in its tracks for possibly up to five, or even nine years, due to the notoriously long time it takes for the CLC to reach decisions in proceedings alleging violations of the Talent Agencies Act.”
Then, suddenly, the CLC set the December 4 hearing date, seemingly putting the case on the fast track. Will the issue be resolved by the time the Idol confetti flies in May for the last time? Will Phillip make one last appearance on the iconic television show that made him a star? Stay tuned!