How Much Cash Will Matthew McConaughey Get for a Commencement Speech?


Apparently, it’s a big fat secret! And currently the subject of legal wrangling in, of course, Texas.

So: Matthew McConaughey, Viscount of Chillvibes, Knight of the Order of the Gilded Miller Lite Can, is scheduled to give this year’s commencement speech at the University of Houston. So the Houston Chronicle asked how much, exactly, this public institution was paying to have Mr. McConaughey dispense his pearls of wisdom. But UH couldn’t tell them because, UH explained, they aren’t allowed to turn over the contract for the gig without talking to McConaughey’s booking agency:

The university’s contract with McConaughey’s booking agency, Celebrity Talent International, includes a rare confidentiality clause, under which UH had to provide notice to the company that the information has been requested and give the agency an opportunity to object to the release of their information with the state attorney general’s office.

So the whole thing has been bumped over to the Texas A.G.’s desk, with the booking agency defending its right to keep all the details hush-hush. The letter argues that the contract and associated emails and hell, pretty much everything to do with this appearance is very confidential. They say disclosure would put their agency at a some vague competitive disadvantage, risk McConaughey’s security by making his schedule public and maybe convince him to cancel the whole thing.

Not sure why they can’t disclose just the speaking fee, though? Frankly it kinda seems like the crux of their complaint lies in this second paragraph (via the Chronicle; check the full letter here):

Reporters are just so mean about where public money goes, you know?

The University of Houston, for their part, says they don’t think the info needs to be super serial secret, but a contract’s a contract. The Chronicle reports that, according to the agency’s website, it’s generally somewhere between $150,000 to $499,000 for Mr. McConaughey’s time. But a CTI rep assured Houston’s KVUE they’re getting a great deal:

“All I can say is major names like Mr. McConaughey could easily ask for 3 times what he said he will do the event for,” said CTI President Glenn Richardson via e-mail. “University of Houston is getting an excellent fee on having him for sure.”

Guess anything more specific falls under trade secrets, baby. (Imagine McConaughey punctuating this sentence with finger-gun motions and maybe a little “pew pew.”)

Image via Getty

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