×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amy Powell, Paramount Television Reach Settlement Over Her Firing (EXCLUSIVE)

Paramount Pictures and former Paramount Television president Amy Powell have reached a settlement to head off litigation in connection with her abrupt firing in July after nearly 15 years with the studio.

Powell was dismissed following allegations that she made racially insensitive remarks during a work-related conference call. Powell vehemently denied saying anything inflammatory. According to sources close to the situation, she disputed the accounts of four other participants on the call.

“The matter has been resolved,” a rep for Paramount Pictures said. A rep for Powell declined to comment.

It’s understood that the settlement involved a financial payout of her employment contract, which had a little more than a year to run at the time she was let go. On Wednesday, Paramount named Nicole Clemens, formerly of Anonymous Content and FX, as Powell’s successor at Paramount TV.

Powell’s ouster shocked the industry. Tapped to relaunch Paramount TV in 2013, Powell built the division into a bustling production banner that is home to Amazon’s buzzy “Jack Ryan,” Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and the upcoming “Maniac,” TNT’s “The Alienist,” and Hulu’s upcoming George Clooney starrer “Catch-22.”

At the time of her firing, sources with knowledge of the situation were surprised by how adamantly Powell denied the accusation, which came from an African-American assistant employed by Paramount who was on the notes call about the comedy series “First Wives Club.” That sparked an internal investigation. In the face of Powell’s denial, studio chief Jim Gianopulos made the call to take the extraordinary step of firing one of the studio’s most prominent executives.

“There is no truth to the allegation that I made insensitive comments in a professional setting — or in any setting,” Powell said in a statement in July. “The facts will come out and I will be vindicated.”

Supporters of Powell see the settlement as a sign that the studio was worried about defending its actions against a wrongful termination lawsuit. Others close to the situation believe Powell would still be employed at Paramount had she been willing to concede that her remarks were interpreted as insensitive by a fellow employee.

The substance of what Powell is alleged to have said is still not clear. “First Wives Club,” produced for Viacom’s Paramount Network cabler, is a remake of the 1996 comedy, this time with a largely African-American cast.

With the Paramount conflict now settled, Powell is said to be considering her options for new opportunities as a producer or as an executive. Before joining Paramount in January 2004, Powell worked as a marketing and digital executive for Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content