A confidential document that Axios managed to get their hands on divulged that Fox News issued a notification to the legal counsel of former prime-time host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday. The letter indicates that the network believes Carlson has violated the stipulations of his contract by launching his own show on Twitter on Tuesday.
This development has placed Fox News in an interesting position, where it might contemplate instigating legal proceedings against Carlson. This course of action would only add fuel to the already burning public disagreement between the two factions. Carlson’s legal representation expressed to Axios that any legal pursuit by Fox would encroach on his constitutionally guaranteed rights under the First Amendment.
Bryan Freedman, a reputable attorney representing Carlson, voiced his client’s position. He noted, “Fox purports to base its existence on the tenets of free speech. Yet, paradoxically, they appear poised to strip Tucker Carlson of his right to voice his opinions openly because he utilized social media to articulate his views on current affairs.”
In the aftermath of Carlson’s termination from Fox News on April 24, he engaged the services of Freedman, a renowned Hollywood attorney recognized for his aggressive litigation style and wide-ranging experience in the entertainment sector. He has been the legal counsel for numerous prominent figures in the entertainment realm. Carlson had announced his intentions to launch a new show on Twitter as early as May 9.
Fox News General Counsel, Bernard Gugar, delivered a letter to Carlson’s legal team swiftly after the debut of Carlson’s Twitter show on Tuesday evening. The letter lays claim that Carlson had not adhered to his contractual commitments. This correspondence highlights specific clauses of Carlson’s contract, which was initially enacted on November 8, 2019, and then amended on February 16, 2021.
With the infringement of the agreement, the letter from Fox clearly states its intention to preserve all legal rights and remedies available to it under law or equity. “Tonight we became privy to Mr. Tucker Carlson’s feature on Twitter, which ran for over 10 minutes,” the letter specified. It further asserted that under the agreement, Mr. Carlson’s ‘services are to be entirely exclusive to Fox,’ referencing his contract.
In addition, the letter stipulated that Carlson is “expressly forbidden from delivering any type of services whatsoever, including ‘through internet streaming, similar distribution methodologies, or other digital distribution, whether currently established or conceptualized in the future.'”
Axios reports indicate that Fox News is under the impression that it has undertaken genuine and ongoing attempts to reach an agreeable resolution that satisfies both parties. In contrast, an anonymous source unveiled that a senior executive at Fox had previously informed Carlson of the network’s intention to keep him off the air until 2025.
Tucker Carlson, once the prominent prime-time face of Fox News, has recently taken his talent to Twitter, launching his own show on the platform. This move, however, has seemingly ruffled feathers at Fox News, leading to a potential legal battle. As reported by Axios, Fox News has recently fired off a letter to Carlson’s legal representation, arguing that by starting his own Twitter show, Carlson has breached his contract with the network.
This burgeoning legal matter could ignite a bitter public spat between Carlson and his former employer. It’s a move that no doubt carries significant risks and potential repercussions for both parties. According to Carlson’s legal team, any move by Fox to take legal action would impinge upon his First Amendment rights, a clear reference to the freedom of speech guaranteed to all American citizens.
“Fox has always prided itself on championing freedom of speech. Now they seek to silence Tucker Carlson because he decided to voice his opinions on social media,” Carlson’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, stated in a defiant response. The statement emphasizes the contradiction that Fox News, a network known for defending the freedom of speech, is seeking to stifle one of its most vocal proponents.
After being fired from Fox News on April 24, Carlson quickly enlisted the services of Freedman, an attorney with a reputation in Hollywood for tackling high-profile and complex contractual disputes. Freedman, renowned for his aggressive legal strategies, has an impressive roster of clients in the entertainment industry, further solidifying Carlson’s robust defense.
Carlson initially announced his plans to debut a show on Twitter back on May 9, sparking speculation and anticipation among his fans. The move, while exciting for his supporters, undoubtedly sent shockwaves through his former employer, with the subsequent legal response from Fox News serving as testament to the network’s discomfort.
Following the successful launch of Carlson’s Twitter show, Bernard Gugar, Fox News’ general counsel, issued a swift response to Carlson’s legal team. The letter, meticulously worded and laden with legal jargon, claims that Carlson has violated his contractual obligations. Citing a contract signed on November 8, 2019, and amended on February 16, 2021, Gugar stated Carlson had breached his agreement, paving the way for potential legal action.
Fox News appears to be safeguarding their rights in connection with the breach of contract, stating, “Fox expressly reserves all rights and remedies which are available to it at law or equity.” A clear warning shot to Carlson and his legal team, Fox is apparently prepared to engage in a legal tussle should an agreement not be reached.
Gugar’s letter went on to reiterate the stipulations of Carlson’s contract, stating, “Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Mr. Carlson’s ‘services shall be completely exclusive to Fox.'” Moreover, the letter clarified that Carlson is “prohibited from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether ‘over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised.'”
These statements paint a picture of a network struggling to come to terms with the departure of one of its key figures. Amidst this contention, it’s worth noting that Fox News believes it is engaged in sincere efforts to reach a mutually agreeable solution. Despite this public assertion, insiders have claimed that Fox executives are intent on keeping Carlson out of the game until 2025.
The move to Twitter has put Carlson squarely in the public eye, and regardless of the outcome of the impending legal battle with Fox News, it’s clear that Tucker Carlson is charting his own course in the digital media landscape.