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Oscar-Winning 'La La Land' Composer Justin Hurwitz Files Lawsuit Against Talent Agency WME

Oscar-Winning 'La La Land' Composer Justin Hurwitz Files Lawsuit Against Talent Agency WME

Justin Hurwitz is suing his former talent agency, WME, after he says they cheated him out of profits from live performances of the La La Land score.

The 36-year-old film composer won two Oscars for his work on the movie musical, along with two Golden Globes and two Grammys.

The lawsuit alleges that WME approached Justin to create a live La La Land show following the success of the movie. The show would feature an orchestra performing the film’s score while the movie played on the big screen. The film’s producer Lionsgate licensed the show to Columbia Artists Management for five major cities and gave rights to the rest of the world to WME.

Click inside to learn what happened next…

Variety reports that Justin was to be paid $50,000 for each of the shows organized by Columbia Artists Management, but the company canceled plans for additional shows following two performances at the Hollywood Bowl.

WME scheduled 23 shows and Justin originally was not going to be compensated at all unless he appeared as the conductor, but he was unable to appear due to other commitments, according to the lawsuit. He says he “repeatedly” asked to conduct the shows, but was turned down so that local conductors, who would be paid less, could be hired instead.

Justin‘s lawsuit alleges that WME made about $30,000 per performance and he reportedly received a small $3,000 to $5,000 fee for each show after some negotiation.

Hurwitz found himself in the absurd position of being denied the opportunity to work by his own talent agent on a project in which his talent agent was supposedly representing him. As a result, the talent-talent agency relationship had been turned upside down,” the lawsuit states.

Justin‘s lawsuit says that he didn’t allow WME to profit from the project and that the company didn’t disclose the details.

Variety reported that the suit states, “WME cynically and systematically entered into secret agreements concerning its client without its client’s knowledge or consent, after he had entrusted WME, his agency, to look out of for his best interest and to help maximize his potential compensation. Instead, Hurwitz discovered that WME had been deceiving him — not only pocketing what should have been his earnings — but also lying to his face about it.”

WME released a statement saying, “These claims are without merit and WME intends to vigorously defend itself.”

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Justin Hurwitz

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