Glee Spoiler Leaked on Twitter Leads to Amending Talent Contracts

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Musical television show “Glee” had its own little drama on Twitter this week when a day player, Nicole Crowther, of the Fox hit show, caused a stir with “Glee” co-creator Brad Falchuk.

The uproar came when Crowther revealed key plot developments via Twitter. Falchuk quickly slammed her by tweeting, “hope you’re qualified to do something besides work in entertainment … Who are you to spoil something talented people have spent months to create?”

But according to the Hollywood Reporter, the standard SAG day-player union contracts “Glee” uses don’t contain non-disclosure agreement (NDA) language providing for penalty when plot secrets are revealed.

20th Century Fox Television is considering amending all of its talent contracts. Starting with series regulars to day players like Crowther to include strict penalties for blabbing online.

Writing such clauses in contracts is becoming a standard in Hollywood practice for studios to crack down on leaks via social networks. An increasing number of studio deals contain new clauses aimed at preventing talent from telling of disparaging or confidential information about productions via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the remainder.

Disney set the pace in October 2009 with a clause forbidding confidentiality breaches via “interactive media such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other interactive social network or personal blog.” During that time, ABC had issued guidelines for tweeting while working on network shows, rules that included seven prohibited actions (including revealing spoilers).

Fox will likely add liquidated damages provisions to its “Glee” deals, meaning the studio could collect a pre-set amount of money from an offending leaker as deterrence from leaking information in general.

Crowther’s leak revealing key plot points in “Glee” might not hurt you or me, but studios need to be aware and guarded against possible key production leaks.