Media Moguls Risking It All: Contract Clauses in the Entertainment Business in the Age of #MeToo

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This article explores the ability of entertainment companies to respond to the salacious misconduct or bad behavior of their talent and leaders through the perspectives of corporate ownership, impacted employees, business partners, and the victims of the misconduct. The article examines the history of social trouble in the media caused at both the individual and corporate level, and how such social trouble can lead to irreparable reputational and financial damage. This article proposes that entertainment companies should consistently implement and apply morals clauses in talent and leadership contracts as a solution to this post-Weinstein problem. While morals clauses can be wielded as a sword against risky talent, this article identifies three challenges that morals clauses face including pushback from unions, negotiations to soften morals clauses, and the prior status quo that permitted free speech and industry practices to rationalize and ignore misconduct. Finally, this article will urge entertainment companies to be proactive in protecting their reputation, their employees, and their very existence amidst the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and recent developments in litigation by employing a modern morals clause in future contracts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages47
JournalArizona State Univ Sports and Entertainment Law Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


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