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The Craziest Demands Ever! (Part 1)

Brian Buck
© Scotwork NA

We’ve all heard those crazy stories about stars wanting only green M&M’s in their dressing room or water that’s at a specific temperature. Well, those demands are tame in comparison to the outrageous ones that I came across. In this two-part series, I’ll first look at some of the most absurd demands made by celebrities; then, next week, I’ll write about how to deal with outrageous demands in your world.

Will Ferrell: While his comedy Semi-Pro has a Rotten Tomatoes score of only 22%, Will Ferrell had a rider during the film’s promotional tour that was 100%. Namely, he required a Janet Jackson-style headset microphone, a mobility scooter, and a rainbow on wheels on stage. Yes, a rainbow on wheels.

Janet Jackson: Since Will Ferrell wanted a Janet Jackson-style headset microphone, it’s only fitting that we shine a light on the demands of Ms. Jackson herself. Her contract stipulates that if she’s on a bill with a comedian (cue Ferrell), then that comedian is barred from making any jokes about her or the Jackson family. There goes some comedian’s entire set . . .

Tom Cruise: One word: thongs. As you may know, Tom Cruise performs most of his own movie stunts. As such, he insists on a wardrobe of custom-made thongs, woven from a speciality fabric, which are apparently more comfortable for him to don while performing said stunts. More could be said, but in this case, less is . . . well, less.

Beyoncé: Not sure if this is for all the single ladies, but Beyoncé is particular about a few things. For one, her dressing room’s temperature must be 78 degrees at all times. That’s a little warm for my taste, but what I can get behind is that she also wants baked chicken (legs, wings, and breasts only, thank you), heavily seasoned with garlic, salt, and black and cayenne pepper.

George Clooney: Not sure how down-to-earth George Clooney’s demands were, but during the filming of the movie Gravity, he asked for a full garden, a basketball court, and a beach hut built right next to his trailer. I like the planet he lives on, and I hope to visit one day.

Jennifer Lopez: Honestly, I’ve never noticed how often Jennifer Lopez wears white outfits, but after reading her rider, I can say that I better understand her sartorial decision. You see, she requires an all-white dressing room, too, including white flowers, white tables, white drapes, white candles, white couches, and to top it all off, vanilla ice cream. No hot fudge . . . but I guess that makes sense.

Finally, leave it to Foo Fighters to make fun of the entire celebrity-hospitality-rider-list-of-demands routine. It’s reported that, on their 2011 tour, the band had a coloring book-themed rider complete with a word search and a maze. As part of their list of demands, they banned “lightsabers” and “garden gnomes.” I wonder if they also banned Star Wars-themed garden gnomes . . .

Whether the above lists are serious or not, we’ve all had to deal with unrealistic demands. Tune in next week, when we’ll discuss what to do when you’re faced with a list of unrealistic demands.

Dealing with Demands.

If you find yourself having to deal with a list of ridiculous demands, let us help you to keep your sanity. Scotwork is the world’s leading negotiation consulting firm. We help our clients solve their dealmaking issues through negotiation consulting, advising, and skills development.

For over 45 years, we’ve been transforming the way our clients negotiate by giving them the tools and skills required to be more assertive, profitable, and successful, while creating deals that are, quite simply, more valuable. Call us and let’s discuss what we might be able to do for you.


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