Phillip Phillips Wants Out of His 'Oppressive' Contract With 'American Idol'

Phillip PhillipsPhillip Phillips is full of a raging fire ... for his contract with American Idol producer 19 Entertainment. The season 11 winner of the show just filed a claim with the California Labor Commissioner, with the hope of "voiding his management, recording, and merchandising agreements" with the firm.

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Phillips claims that his deal with 19 Entertainment is "oppressive," and he doesn't feel like they have his best interests at heart. He told The Hollywood Reporter:

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 in a way that I am comfortable with. I look forward to being able to make my own choices about my career and to being able to make great music and play it for my fans.

On the surface, it's hard to feel sorry for the famous singer who got his start on American Idol -- after all, doesn't he owe them for launching his career? On the other hand, it's easy to see how producers would get hopeful young singers to sign their futures away on the dream of making it big.

That's what Phillips is claiming happened here, and he wants his contract gone, gone, gone. He filed a legal claim on January 22, which claims that he's been forced into performances that benefit 19 Entertainment rather than him, that they get up to 40 percent of his endorsement deals, and that he didn't even know the name of his last album, Behind the Light, until he heard about it through the media.

He also claims that 19 has refused his requests to renegotiate his contract, and that it's in violation of California's Talent Agencies Act, "which that only licensed talent agents can procure work for their clients."

Simon Fuller would probably do well to address this sooner rather than later. It's one thing if a star goes diva, but it sounds like Phillips has some pretty legit complaints.

19 Entertainment doesn't seem to think so though ... a spokesperson for the company said, "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."

Hmm, it's hard to know exactly what's going on here, but we just hope that they can come to a happy middle ground and that Phillips can keep making awesome music.

Do you think Phillip Phillips' complaints are legit?

 

Image via Paul Morigi/Stringer/Getty Images

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