'The Chosen' severs ties with Angel Studios, claims breach of contract


"The Chosen," a popular crowdfunded series about the life of Jesus Christ, is ending its relationship with Angel Studios and accused the distributor of breaching their contract. Angel Studios said it plans to pursue an appeal of the contract termination.

Dallas Jenkins, the creator of the popular series that launched on Angel Studios app in 2019, released a video message Wednesday sharing details behind the program's decision to sever ties with the distribution company.

While expressing gratitude for Angel Studios' role in getting his show up and running and the "total creative freedom and ownership" awarded to him as a result of their partnership, Jenkins lamented that "we were responsible for immeasurably more than any of us expected in order for this show to survive."

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"This became even more true when, after charging you to watch the show didn't work, we decided the show should be free, and Angel came up with the pay-it-forward model where you can choose to pay for the show for yourself and others so it could be free around the world," he added. "Of your pay-it-forward contributions, less than half of it actually came to us, somewhere around 40%. The rest went to marketing and Angel Studios."

Jenkins explained that "The Chosen" was "solely responsible for the financing of future seasons, as in every dollar for production came from our side."

"We had to form a company for all of this," he added, referring to The Chosen LLC. "Our company is responsible for and must pay for all of our legal stuff, including the fact that we're a public company that must report to the [Securities and Exchange Commission]."

In a statement to The Christian Post, Angel Studios disputed Jenkins' assertion that only 40% of the pay-it-forward contributions went to "The Chosen," insisting that "the deal was a 50/50 split after expenses." 

Jenkins said the company has grown to include more than five dozen full-time employees, saying, "In order to meet the demands and pay our employees, we financed that solely with our gift sales, not the production money that was coming in through pay-it-forward."

Examples of gift sales cited by Jenkins include "books, DVDs and apparel."

Jenkins said "The Chosen" reached "a new agreement with Angel Studios in 2022," which "allowed us to shift our relationship to Come and See, the nonprofit whose mission includes getting 'The Chosen' to the world and financing our production."

"When you donate to Come and See, 100% of your donation goes to the production and marketing and international translations of 'The Chosen,'" he asserted. "Come and See has guaranteed that future seasons will be financed and on schedule but of course, we still need your help in making that happen. Gift sales and licenses with third parties, such as other streamers and broadcasters, will continue to financially sustain our overhead and growth as a company."

Jenkins maintained that "shortly after the agreement, Angel Studios breached our contract on multiple occasions to the extent that we believed it should be terminated, which would dissolve our relationship with Angel."

Jenkins detailed how he had engaged in private arbitration with Angel Studios and stressed that neither "The Chosen" nor Angel Studios filed a lawsuit.

"We simply had an arbitrator decide whether or not the contract had been breached and should be terminated," he said. "We didn't come to the decision lightly but it was our decision to terminate the contract and ask an arbitrator to rule on the termination."

Jenkins reported that the arbitrator "comprehensively affirmed our position" in a Tuesday ruling "and agreed that the contract had been breached in multiple and material ways." As a result of the arbitrator's finding, "the contract is indeed terminated and 'The Chosen's’ relationship with Angel Studios is effectively over."

In a statement shared with CP, Angel Studios CEO Neil Harmon said Angel Studios "is honored to have been instrumental in the founding and unbelievable growth of The Chosen."

He credited "[o]ur long hours of hard work over the last 8 years by teams of programmers, marketers, translators, licensing experts, and innovators" with helping to make it "the worldwide success that it is today."

"Sadly, The Chosen, Inc. chose to terminate its agreement with us. We hope that one day the agreement will be restored — and we plan to pursue the appeal provision that Angel and The Chosen agreed to as the process for resolving disagreements privately," Harmon said. 

Due to "The Chosen" cutting ties with Angel Studios, viewers will have the option to watch the series on a social media livestream, "The Chosen" app or on DVD, not the Angel Studios app.

Jenkins said that season 4 of "The Chosen" will be available on "The Chosen" app next week, with the first episode dropping on Sunday and the second episode coming out on Thursday. Two episodes of season 4 of "The Chosen" will be released per week over the next several weeks. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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