Hollywood contracts contain new language that cracks down on Twitter

October 16, 2009

Hollywood contracts contain new language that cracks down on TwitterIf you happen to work in the film or television industry, you may want to take a close look at any new contracts you sign before you send out your next message on Twitter.

It would seem that the PR machine that is Hollywood has had it with Twitter and other social media outlets. According to The Hollywood Reporter, movie and television studios are beginning to write some guidelines for how the talent both in front of and behind the camera may use social media, as well as what they can say and when.

A new contract from Disney states “interactive media such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other interactive social network or personal blog” should not be used for breaking news of a confidential type.  (Of course, we would ask is there ever a good way to release confidential information?)  A writer’s deal over at Dreamworks is more just being sure that no news leaks before the PR department is ready via “a social networking site, blog or other Internet-type site.”

Hollywood has sort of a love/hate relationship going on with social media, and Twitter specifically.  While it may be a great way to market a project, it can also decimate the box office receipts for a movie in a matter of seconds.  As opposed to the old style of word having to spread person to person that a movie was bad, someone can send a tweet from inside the theater, and thousands upon thousands of people can know within seconds to steer clear of a certain film.

Now imagine how frightening it can be to a studio to have one of its creative talents complaining about a project before it is even released?  That is why this new rule is being written in.  It is also due to situations like Paula Adbul releasing the information that she was leaving American Idol on her Twitter account before the PR department could work on it.

Expect to see more of these types of contracts in virtually all industries before too long.

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