Pete Davidson, Saturday Night Live star and famous Ariana Grande ex, performed at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco last week, but before anyone could see him, attendees had to sign a strict nondisclosure agreement just to get in the door. While ticketing websites made it clear that phones wouldn't be allowed into the event, the NDA said that showgoers who used their phones would have them confiscated—and if they posted about the show online, they'd have to pay a million dollar fine.
According to screenshots posted by a ticketholder on the event's Facebook page and as pointed out by the Hollywood Reporter, the NDA stated, "In short, by signing this agreement, you are agreeing not to discuss any details of the show you are about to watch or your experiences at this event, period. This includes blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any/all other social media or online outlets."
So, if attendees were to tweet about Davidson's performance or post a clip to their Instagram stories, the agreement stipulated that individuals would have to pay "the sum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000), plus any actual out-of-pocket expense" for any breach. Further, it handed over attendees' rights to their phones, which could be seized and destroyed in order to protect the "'works-in-progress' creative content" of Davidson's show.
As Stacy Young, the ticket-holder who posted the NDA, wrote along with the screenshots, "I get that comedians are protective of their jokes and don’t want their routines rebroadcast, but it’s rather Orwellian to not allow anyone to share an opinion on it. Don't perform for the public if you don't want people to have an opinion about it!"
While it's pretty much the norm now to put away cell phones at comedy shows and even concerts—owed in part to Dave Chappelle's partnering with phone pouch start-up Yondr back in 2015—Davidson's new rules and the over-the-top financial threat are still particularly off the rails, seemingly without much benefit to him. After all, have you seen the Pete Davidson timeline recently? In a post-Ariana world, the man could certainly use the image boost of tweets from fawning fans.