Phillip Phillips, 24, is definitely not one of the biggest musical celebrities in Hollywood although he did beat out thousands of other people through auditions to be crowned the season 11 winner of American Idol.
But when the winners across all 14 previous seasons are examined, not too many are superstars and several have complained that that is in part due to the restrictions put on them by their American Idol contract.
Now Phillips is taking legal action after realizing that the Idol label/producer 19 Entertainment had “manipulated” him and his career and officially filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner on January 22.
Along with the petition Phillips released a statement about his decision, “I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me through appearing on American Idol. The value that the fans and the show have given to my career is not lost on me. However, I have not felt that I have been free to conduct my career on a way that I am comfortable with. I look forward to being able to make my own choices about my career and being able to make great music and play for my fans.”
Amongst Phillips complaints about 19 Entertainment’s handling of his career is that he has been forced to perform for free for the company’s sponsors, benefiting only them, as well the company gets as much as a 40 percent cut for any of his endorsements and they withheld information important to his career including the title of his album Behind the Light, a title he wasn’t even aware of until it was announced publicly.
19 Entertainment however released their own statement calling Phillips complaints “baseless claims.”
“We’re very proud of everything we’ve accomplished together with Phillip, working closely to help nurture his extraordinary talent and advance his career. We 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.”
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