The three Norwegian actor profiles Agnes Kittelsen (42), Nicolai Cleve Broch (46) and Jon Øigarden (51) who were wanted by their own agent, expressed great relief over the acquittal on Friday.
– I’m very happy now. It is not everyday food to be sought, and even though I was sure that I had not done anything wrong, it is also nice to have the law on the side as well, says Agnes Kittelsen in a statement to VG.
The trio’s Danish agent company, Panoramabureauhad sued the three Norwegian actors for breach of contract, partly because the Norwegians refused to pay arrears after they had terminated the contract with their agent.
This meant that Kittelsen, Cleve Broch and Øigarden showed an unhealthy culture in the agent industry.
– This is not just about the three of us. We have stood in this because many actors have experienced the same thing. It has been a culture in this company that we could not accept, says Agnes Kittelsen.
The verdict fell on Friday morning, after the trial was held in Copenhagen City Court in mid-May.
The Norwegian Actors’ Association has led the case for the three actors. Secretary General Anders Bredmose tells VG that over 20 Norwegian actors have contacted in recent years because they are not satisfied with Panorama Agency.
– We Panorama Agency can manage to change its business. Neither actors nor agents are served by unfair agreements and poor cooperation, says Bredmose.
Lawyer Bjarke Vejby has led the case for Panorama Agency. He informs VG on Friday night that they register that the case has been lost on the basis of section 36 of the Danish Contracts Act, and that they now have 14 days to assess whether the verdict should be appealed.
Read his comments on the verdict at the bottom of the case.
Panorama Agency (PA) has a broad stable of the biggest Nordic – and Norwegian – actor names. In add to the three that the agency company has sued in court, PA also represents names like Kristoffer Hivju, Tobias Santelmann, Ellen Dorrit Pedersen, Anders Danielsen Lie, Marie Blokhus, Mariann Saastad Ottesen and John Carew, just to name a few.
– This has been important in principle for the association to establish that the agent can not demand payment in retrospect for assignments they have in no way been involved in, says Anders Bredmose to VG.
Nicolai Cleve Broch also believes the ruling is important for the entire industry.
– I have always wanted to be fair, but have been unsure of the legal in this, he says, but at the same time registers with satisfaction that «the court fortunately has a quick difference between right and wrong».
– I really appreciate that. So I wish this would help other actors in the future as well.
Jon Øigarden, who was first in the witness box in Copenhagen City Court in May, is no less satisfied.
He emphasizes the fact that all three – and the Actors’ Union – have stood together on this.
– That is the most gratifying thing, he says on the phone from Spain, where his work day is right now.
– The court quickly strikes some important principles, including that an agent must actually do what is stated in the contract, not just demand money afterwards. This has been a culture that I have received it is now over, says the experienced actor, and adds;
– Most of all because there are actors after us who need proper assistance.
Panorama Agency, via lawyer Bjarke Veiby, says the following about the verdict:
“The ruling does not mean anything in principle for Panorama Agency, since the terms and the agency agreement were changed last year.
As is well known, Panorama Agency has changed its terms in 2021, so that in the future no remuneration will be paid after the agency agreement has expired.
Instead, Panorama Agency negotiates agreements with the actors where agent fees are paid on the income that the actors receive in the series and opportunities that Panorama Agency has been an agent.
Over the past year, Panorama Agency has offered actors who have already entered into an agreement with Panorama Agency to transfer them to the new terms. This also applies in Norway ».