A. The term Favored Nations refers to a negotiated agreement between a producer and a performing artist which generally indicates that if other similar artists in the show (as specified) receive better terms (as specified) than this individual, then this individual artist will be entitled to those same terms. (It does not mean that everyone in the show is being paid the same.) For such an agreement to be valid and enforceable, it should be in writing and included as a part of an individual employment contract, or a rider to an individual employment contract.
Q. What is the purpose of using a Favored Nations clause?
A. The Favored Nations rider has been utilized by performing artists and his/her representatives to to ensure that no other artists of any particular event (primarily, someone having the same stature or playing a similar role) was getting a better deal. It also became a means of allowing an artist who would normally command a large salary to work for a lower salary without cheapening that artist’s value. For example, an experienced artist who would normally be paid a premium might choose to take a pay cut to perform at a charity event; and by including the Favored Nations rider, the artist, in essence, says to the commercial entertainment world: “I still don’t work for minimum, but in this particular situation I’m willing to as long as I know that no one else is being paid more than I am.
Q. If I offer Joseph a Favored Nations clause in his contract, will I also have to offer it to other artists as well?
A. No. A producer will not have to offer Favored Nations to other artists unless he/she chooses to do so, or another performing artist separately makes a similar request.
Q. What is the wording of the Favored Nations clause?
A. There is no standard wording for a Favored Nations clause; each one is individually negotiated. Below are two examples of general wording in which the italicized phrases could be modified according to the specific terms the parties agreed would be subject to the Favored Nations clause:
Example 1. “The Producer guarantees that no artist shall receive a higher compensation than the undersigned Artist. Should any artistreceive such higher compensation, the undersigned Artist’s compensation shall automatically be increased to that higher amount.”
Example 2. “In the event any other artist engaged for the event is entitled or becomes entitled to receive compensation or terms and conditions more favorable than that provided to ARTIST hereunder, PRODUCER shall promptly advise ARTIST of such fact, and ARTIST’s compensation shall be increased automatically to such higher amount, and/or comparable terms and conditions shall be provided for ARTIST.”
Q. What terms are covered in a Favored Nations rider?
A. The terms to be covered are individually negotiated and will therefore vary from event to event or artist to artist. Any individually negotiable item may be the subject of a Favored Nations rider, such as, in general, payment, expense money, transportation, housing, or dressing room space. We mostly use the general term, “compensation”. Or, you can be more specific about what terms and conditions are included.
Q. I’m still confused. Can you help?
A. Most definitely! This is a very easy step, and we can include it in our contract, or send you a rider to attach to yours. Just contact us.