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Clay Aiken Wins Compensation Fight With Broadway Christmas Show

April 27, 2022, 6:37 PM

The production company behind a Broadway Christmas show featuring former American Idol contestants owes $60,000 to singer Clay Aiken and his team, a Manhattan federal judge said, confirming an arbitration award favoring the Actors’ Equity Association labor union.

RC Christmas LLC admitted in arbitration that it breached agreements with Aiken and the union, and it made no effort to contest the arbitration award in court, Judge John P. Cronan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said. Cronan entered a judgment of $80,301 against RC Christmas, which includes $60,000 owed to Aiken’s team, an additional $15,348 to the union, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

The ruling is fallout from “Ruben and Clay’s Christmas Show,” a 2018 limited-run Broadway production reuniting former American Idol contestants Aiken and Ruben Studdard. The union accused the show’s producer, RC Christmas, of failing to pay amounts owed under a collective bargaining agreement and individual employment contracts, including salary payments, 401(k) contributions, commissions, and cash receipts.

In particular, the union accuses RC Christmas of failing to pay Aiken’s weekly fee—$25,000 for him and $5,000 for his agent—for two weeks of the production.

Aiken and Studdard competed on the second season of American Idol. Studdard was crowned the franchise’s first male winner in May 2003.

Cohen, Weiss and Simon represents the union. RC Christmas didn’t file an appearance in the case.

The case is Actors’ Equity Ass’n v. RC Christmas LLC, 2022 BL 143749, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:21-cv-00937, 4/26/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacklyn Wille in Washington at jwille@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com