The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that a number of Hollywood studios are putting "no social media" clauses in the contracts of actors, executives and other employees, in an attempt to prevent the leaking of information. A Dreamworks writer's deal warns against preempting a studio press release with a "social networking site..." while another talent deal prevents bashing a production with social media. At Disney, a recent contract states that confidentiality breaches via "media such as Facebook, Twitter or any other interactive social network or personal blog" is forbidden. Viacom goes as far as to enforce online confidentiality for a year after a production is finished.
In recent months, many celebrities have taken to various media sites, usually Twitter, taking their PR into their own hands. This is true of everyone from NFL players to American Idol judges, and the self-made announcements have left the people they work for wondering what they can do to prevent potential leaks of confidential or disparaging information.
A top talent lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter, "This is just the beginning. Hollywood has a long history of controlling what talent says in the media. This is just a new area of media that hasn’t been controlled yet.”
But still, some studios are encouraging their talent to use Twitter and enjoying the extra publicity that comes along with it. At ABC, actors' tweets are posted on the network's website and they are encouraging actors to post regularly. Of course, the encouragement is not without guidelines that included a list of things not to do, such as revealing spoilers or bashing the network's shows.