As Hollywood inches closer to a post-pandemic “normal” amid shortening theatrical windows, continuing consolidation and the sunsetting of packaging, the 100 attorneys on The Hollywood Reporter’s 15th annual power list have the industry’s high-stakes litigation, mega-mergers and big-ticket talent pacts under control.
When Hollywood gets disrupted — whether by a pandemic or a paradigm-shifting merger like the one between AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery — it’s the lawyers who must rewrite the rules of the game. And if there’s anyone who can negotiate tentpoles pivoting to streamers, mediate the detente between writers and agents and navigate the still-insatiable appetite for content, it’s the entertainment industry’s top 100 attorneys — who may never go back to wearing suits and heels but definitely will return to The Grill on the Alley.
Freedman & Taitelman
UNIV. OF THE PACIFIC, McGEORGE SCHOOL OF LAW
One of Hollywood’s key litigators to call in a high-profile crisis, Freedman is currently representing The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison after the host stepped away from the franchise following a controversial interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, and DC Films president Walter Hamada and producer Jon Berg in connection with Justice League star Ray Fisher’s statements about their involvement in a toxic work environment. In September, Freedman’s client Gabrielle Union reached a settlement with NBC after she alleged racism on the set of America’s Got Talent. The theme of his past year? “Protecting the executive or the talent or the individual against the company,” Freedman says, which, ideally, is “the way that you can try and drive change in a [company’s] behavior.”
The pandemic changed my work life forever by …
“Having to learn how to change the paper in the printer.”
My new mantra is …
“Look for the gift. There’s a gift in everything.”