By Elspeth Crawford
Recently, pop star Britney Spears began her new gig as a judge on Fox’s “The X Factor,” where she helped coach potential pop stars to singing super-stardom. However, much of the press covering her debut surrounded a quirky rider to her employment contract, which reportedly demanded that her dressing room be stocked with 10 bags of Doritos, 12 Snickers bars, 10 pieces of fried chicken, and 34 designer dresses. It seems extreme, but this is far from the first time a celebrity or other public figure has made an odd request in their contract. Here’s a collection of some of the more interesting ones.
As silly as some of these demands seem, they are contractually valid. A contract consists of three parts: the offer, the acceptance, and the consideration. Offer and acceptance are easy enough to understand: "The X Factor" offered Britney Spears a job and she accepted. Consideration is the benefit the contractor will receive from the agreement. In the case of the Spears deal, the consideration is the work Britney will put in as a judge. Her rider, Doritos and Snickers bars and so forth, is enforceable because she’s giving something in exchange for it.
That said, these kinds of contractual demands are often taken less seriously than other, more substantive ones. J. Lo. may have demanded a white couch in her dressing room, but she reportedly settled for a green one. The cost of going to court and paying legal fees on something so trivial likely outweighs any value that could eventually come out of litigation, so those people who have a profile high enough to make such demands probably won’t bother arguing about them in front of a judge. Still, they can likely settle for having enough influence to be able to make them in the first place.