The Chosen Season 4 Streaming Release Controversy & Studio Contract Termination Explained by Creator Dallas Jenkins

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Jesus in The Chosen

Now that Season 4 has a streaming release date, The Chosen's creator and showrunner revealed why the show's contract with Angel Studios was terminated.

Soon after The Chosen Season 4 reached the end of its exclusive theatrical run, Dallas Jenkins announced a streaming delay due to "legal matters," specifically arbitration with the show's original distributor, Angel Studios.

After receiving the arbitrator's decision, Jenkins not only announced Season 4's imminent home debut but pulled back the curtain on the contractual issues between The Chosen and Angel Studios. 

[ The Chosen Show Announces Disney+ Streaming Release Details ]

Explaining The Chosen Season 4 Streaming Delay & Contract Controversy

Actors in The Chosen series.
The Chosen

In a video announcing The Chosen Season 4's streaming schedule, Dallas Jenkins also explained the legal reasons for the delay and why "'The Chosen's' relationship with Angel Studios is effectively over."

Before diving into the legal situation, the director credited Angel Studios, saying, "'The Chosen' would not have launched without some of the ideas, initiatives, and extraordinary efforts" of the Harmon Brothers and their employees. 

He also acknowledged that "working with Angel [Studios] meant I had total creative freedom and ownership."

However, the first-ever multi-season series about Jesus' ministry quickly learned their financial model wasn't sustainable as only "around 40%" of pay-it-forward contributions actually went to The Chosen:

"So here's a quick overview of what we at 'The Chosen' have been faced with. Of your pay-it-forward contributions, less than half of it actually came to us. It was somewhere around 40%. The rest went to marketing and Angel Studios. Now if we were a one-off movie and that was just our share of income, that actually might be great. But we were solely responsible for the financing of future seasons as in every dollar for production came from our side."

As a result, Jenkins explained, "We came to a new agreement with Angel Studios in 2022" allowing The Chosen to shift its relationship to the nonprofit Come and See to finance production and spread the series worldwide. 

As for what went wrong, the showrunner stated that after the new agreement, "Angel Studios breached our contract on multiple occasions" and to the degree that "we believed it should be terminated:"

"What happened next is the crux of why we're here today. Our contention is 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. Angel, of course, disagrees with that assessment. And, ultimately, the only way to dissolve the dispute was to exercise the provision in the contract where we engaged a third-party arbitrator."

He also noted that private arbitration was the route they chose in order to solve the issue in a Biblical way, "which was not make it a public spectacle." 

In addition, Jenkins addressed online misconceptions about the dispute, clarifying that "this was not a lawsuit" or an act of "greed or spite or for more fame or to go Hollywood."

Instead, he stated, "We simply had an arbitrator decide whether or not the contract had been breached" and ultimately terminated.

The director also clarified that it was "our decision to terminate the contract and ask an arbitrator to rule on the termination."

Finally, Dallas Jenkins revealed the arbitrator's long-awaited decision, which is that "the contract had been breached in multiple and material ways," and as a result, the show's "relationship with Angel Studios is effectively over:"

"Good people can disagree and it's what makes what I'm about to say very sad and not something I take any pleasure in. Yesterday, Tuesday, May 28, we received the arbitrator's decision and he comprehensively affirmed our position and that the contract had been breached in multiple and material ways, which means that the contract is indeed terminated, and 'The Chosen's' relationship with Angel Studios is effectively over."

The Chosen's Independence Story & Season 4 Schedule

Not only has The Chosen gained attention for its popularity, quality, and authentic take on its subject matter, but also because of its independence from the Hollywood studio system.

The fact that the contract between the show and Angel Studios is now terminated means The Chosen is more independent than ever

With Season 4 about to become available at home, and with Season 5 currently in production, The Chosen's trailblazing narrative is just getting started.

Speaking of which, Episode 1 of Season 4 is set to debut at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 2 via an episode live stream with cast interviews on The Chosen app, YouTube, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Facebook. 

Episode 2 will release on Thursday, June 6 at 8:30 p.m. with ensuing episodes slated to release on Sundays and Thursdays over the next four weeks. 

Seasons 1-3 of The Chosen are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock, and for free on The Chosen app. Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.

Episode 1 of Season 4 premieres online at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 2.

Check out other stories about The Chosen below:

Full Cast of The Chosen Season 4 - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos)

The Chosen Season 4 Streaming Release Corruption Allegations Get Official Response from Studio

The Chosen Season 4: New Posters for 12 Main Characters Released (Photos)

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.