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Members of K-pop group EXO move to end ‘unjust long-term contracts’ with SM Entertainment (report)

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Three members of the nine-member boy band EXO have reportedly introduced they’re planning to terminate what they are saying are “unjust long-term contracts” with Okay-Pop company SM Leisure.

In an announcement launched by regulation agency Lin on Thursday (June 1), EXO members Baekhyun, Xiumin, and Chen – whose full names are Byun Baekhyun, Kim Minseok and Kim Jongdae, respectively) alleged they had been pressured into “slave contracts” of so long as 20 years, and misplaced religion in SM Leisure after the corporate refused repeated requests for detailed breakdowns of its funds to the artists.

The trio additionally mentioned that “authorized motion is inevitable” following their announcement that they’re terminating their contracts.

SM Leisure has fired again with an announcement of its personal, saying it was given “tip-offs” suggesting {that a} rival enterprise is making an attempt to sow discord inside the firm and poach the EXO artists for itself, doubtlessly getting them to signal an settlement in violation of the unique settlement they’ve with SM.

The Okay-pop large defended its prolonged contracts with EXO members, saying that these contracts had been successfully accredited by Korea’s Supreme Court docket in earlier litigation, and that the EXO members signed a current extension of these contracts whereas being represented by “large-scale regulation corporations.”

The corporate additionally mentioned that the EXO artists have at all times had entry to detailed breakdowns of their funds, however that it’s going to not distribute copies of these breakdowns to artists, as a result of they might be “unfairly offered to a 3rd social gathering.”

Within the assertion on behalf of the three EXO artists – printed by Korean news site Newsen and translated at Soompi.com –  lawyer Lee Jae Hak mentioned Baekhyun, Xiumin and Chen had initially signed 12- or 13-year contracts with SM Leisure when EXO was shaped round 2012, which is “far past the seven years decided by the Honest Commerce Fee for the usual unique contract for for entertainers.”

SM then “pushed for the artists to signal subsequent unique contracts as soon as once more, leading to long-term contracts that span over at the least 17 to 18 years or extra,” the letter acknowledged.

The letter additionally mentioned that the EXO members tried seven instances since March to acquire “settlement stories” – detailed breakdowns of funds from the corporate to the artists – and had been rebuffed.

“If SM had precisely paid the settlement to the artists, there would have been no purpose why they might not present the settlement stories and settlement foundation,” the letter acknowledged.

The letter argued that the EXO members’ contracts must be invalidated on the grounds that there’s an imbalance in bargaining energy between SM Leisure and the artists.

It cited a judicial precedent involving one other Okay-pop band, a 2009 lawsuit during which three of the 5 unique members of TVXQ sued SM Leisure to be let loose of their contracts.

In that case, a courtroom dominated provisionally that the prolonged contract phrases “excessively infringe[d] on the financial freedom and primary rights of the candidates,” the letter acknowledged.

In a subsequent ruling, “it was decided by the courtroom that subsequent contracts are unfairly signed contracts with defects because of the distinction in bargaining energy,” the letter acknowledged.

(Within the case of TVXQ, the three members left the band, and since round 2010, TVXQ has carried on as a duo.)

‘Exterior forces’ at work?

Nevertheless, in its personal assertion, SM Leisure cited a distinct authorized precedent – that of Hwang Zitao, a former member of EXO who sued SM Leisure in 2015, arguing that his 10-year contract contained unjust phrases and that its size amounted to a constriction on his freedoms.

In 2018, the Supreme Court docket dismissed Hwang’s enchantment of a decrease courtroom ruling, and mentioned his contract was legitimate for its period by way of 2022.

Regardless of the authorized victory in that case, “we… signed two annex agreements with the EXO members, together with the artists in query, to alter the wage charges in favor of the artist,” SM Leisure mentioned in its assertion, as published at Koreaboo.com.

“This was a measure we took to advertise the shared progress of our firm and artist, regardless that there was no contractual obligation [on our side].”

SM Leisure mentioned the lawyer representing the three EXO artists solely entered on the scene just lately, “and we started receiving tip-offs that there have been exterior forces that had been inflicting our artists to waver.”

SM mentioned they requested that the EXO artists “reassure us that they didn’t signal any double contract that violates our unique contract. Then, the artists’ authorized consultant … all of the sudden modified his perspective and halted discussions … and knowledgeable us that they’d be terminating their unique contract with us with none rationalization concerning the [potential] double contract.”

A report at Korea’s JoongAng Daily cited a “media report” stating {that a} rival Okay-pop company, Large Planet Made, or BPM Leisure, acquired a notification from SM Leisure alleging {that a} consultant of the corporate “met with the three EXO members and tried to persuade them to hitch the corporate.”

BPM reportedly denied any involvement within the matter.

“It’s true that we acquired a letter from SM, however we’re very regretful about [SM Entertainment] involving us when we’ve no half of their inner state of affairs. Ought to they proceed with the declare, we’ll take agency authorized measures,” BPM mentioned, as quoted at JoongAng.

The battle marks yet one more drama for SM Leisure, which earlier this 12 months was on the middle of a tug-of-war between Korean telecom and media large Kakao and rival Okay-pop company HYBE for management of SM.

Kakao finally emerged victorious from that battle, with a 39.9% stake in SM Leisure.

Nevertheless, in April, South Korea’s monetary regulator raided the workplaces of SM Leisure in an ongoing probe of Kakao, which the regulator suspects could have manipulated SM Leisure’s inventory value throughout its combat for management of the corporate.

SM Leisure is the second-largest Okay-pop company by income, behind rival HYBE. In addition to EXO and TVXQ, it represents acts together with Ladies’ Technology, Tremendous Junior, aespa and Kangta.Music Enterprise Worldwide


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