Emmy winner and comedy legend Kenan Thompson is launching his own production company.
The comedian, known for his work on shows like All That, Kenan and Kel, SNL and his self-titled sitcom, announced the formation of his production company Artists For Artists, a 360 incubator for artists to create and produce their own content, as a full-service production company, with a commerce division, and bespoke management representation. Thompson will operate Artists for Artists as co-founder, and producer John Ryan Jr. will serve as co-founder and CEO.
“Any artists looking to build a company, come see us. John and I are excited to develop companies with talent that are OWNED AND OPERATED by the talent,” Thompson said in a statement. “We’ve all been part of projects we as artists wish we owned a bigger piece of, so we knew it was time to start a company that reflected that.”
Artists For Artists (AFA) will build companies with artists and brands that the artists and brands themselves co-own. Much like the changes in ownership in the music business, Artists For Artists is a home for artists to own their own content and commerce, while partnering with global distributors. Artists for Artists will announce additional projects across various mediums including film, series, podcasts, live events, and celebrity commerce int he weeks ahead.
“In my 20+ years working in Hollywood, it has always shocked me how rarely talent has ownership per project. Kenan and I have been friends for almost two decades, and it was time to create the change we wanted to see in the industry. AFA (Artists for Artists) was built to partner and co-own the company with the talent, rather than licensing their brand.,” Ryan said. “We believe talent and brands should be controlled by the talent and brand itself. With AFA, our artists in film, television and live entertainment have the creative freedom of owning their own content and commerce to release to the marketplace.”
The news of Thompson’s new initiative comes just as he hosted the 2021 People’s Choice Awards. Thompson will also receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.