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Sheen gets co-star fired, but she has a contract. What to do?

As Los Angeles readers may have heard, Charlie Sheen recently arranged to have Selma Blair fired from "Anger Management," the FX show which in which they both star and Sheen produces. The gossip is that Blair grew tired of Sheen's erratic work habits and complained about it to the show's other producers, prompting Sheen to retaliate.

We are not writing this post to talk about gossip, however. Apparently, Blair was under contract to appear in all of the show's 100 pre-ordered episodes, and "Anger Management" has only filmed about half that many so far.

So, what is FX to do if wants to "fire" someone who has a contract like that?

In this case, it seems FX has opted to pay Blair the balance of her contract. Now, this could be one way out of the situation, but only one.

Depending on what the contract says, Blair might still choose to take legal action and argue that a significant benefit of the contract is having a screen credit to her resume and that FX is frustrating this benefit by not allowing her to appear on the show any longer. In the 1980s, actress Sondra Locke sued Warner Bros. after she leaned that her ex-boyfriend Clint Eastwood had told the studio to pay her to direct and produce films, but not to take the actual movies produced seriously. Her argument was that having the movie made was one of the real benefits of the contract; it wasn't just about the money, in other words. To this day, the case (which was settled out of court) remains one of the most famous entertainment law cases of all time.

Another option would be to see if Blair was willing to renogiate the contract. For instance, FX producers could offer her her own pilot if she would agree to waive the rest of the "Anger Management" contract. As long as both parties fully agree to amend or forego a contract, it's fairly easy to do so.

In any event, because this story involves entertainment law and contacts, we plan to keep an eye on it and see if anything interesting develops.


Source:   Deadline, “2ND UPDATE: Charlie Sheen Fired Selma Blair From ‘Anger Management’ Via Text, Show Continue Production As Scheduled,” Nellie Andreeva, June 109, 2013