June 9th, 2023
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke with TheWrap about the inclusion of force majeure in many Hollywood writers’ contracts, including Justin Simien’s, whose Paramount deal was suspended amid the WGA strike.
Justin Simien, the creator of “Dear White People,” learned of his suspended deal with Paramount on his 40th birthday. Paramount cited force majeure in the suspension, which could be invoked for an “unexpected event outside of either party’s control.” Bryan explained that studios can and do invoke it in the event of union strikes like the current WGA strike. He added the usage of the concept is common in Hollywood contracts.
Simien’s deal with Paramount remains on hold and might lead to cancellation if enough time passes. Many of these contracts have clauses allowing for termination of the contract after a specified period, which some believe studios will use to their benefit to cut costs. Simien has had to reduce salaries across his company to keep it financially stable.
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