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Pharrell Williams hasn’t had the best luck with lawsuits this year. First he and Robin Thicke were countersued by Marvin Gaye’s family for the sampling of “Got to Give It Up” in “Blurred Lines.” Now he’s being sued for bowing out of a YouTube show.
According to Radar Online, Williams was supposed to shoot a second season of the YouTube interview series Artst Tlk, but his new coaching job on The Voice, and the exclusivity contract that goes with it, prohibited him from doing another show at the same time. Artst Tlk’s producers are suing him in federal court, though Williams’ lawyers claim he’s open to joining the show again once his contract is up… in four years. They also claim there was no binding contract, just an “agreement to agree.”
However, the lawsuit states that his contract had been “fully negotiated” and that Williams bowing out of the show goes beyond a “scheduling conflict.” According to TMZ, when he was told producers would be going ahead with season 2, Williams reportedly said, “Holding me to a contract that prohibits The Voice exclusivity requirement? It’s The Voice!”
Artst Tlk debuted in 2012 and featured interviews with Leonard Nimoy, Usher, and Henry Rollins. The 12-episode season racked up more than 1 million views. Producers were hoping to shop the second season to TV networks, but now that Williams has backed out of his contract, they say that won’t be possible. No word yet on whether producers could just find someone else to host the show.
In other Williams lawsuit news, a group representing him, the Eagles, and other artists is threatening YouTube with a $1 billion lawsuit that claims the company does not have rights to use his music in their new Music Key service.
Photo via Shawn Ahmed/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.