EXO's Baekhyun, Xiumin, Chen Terminate Contracts with SM | Be Korea-savvy

EXO’s Baekhyun, Xiumin, Chen Terminate Contracts with SM

Chen (L), Baekhyun (C) and Xiumin of K-pop boy group EXO are seen in this photo provided by SM Entertainment.

Chen (L), Baekhyun (C) and Xiumin of K-pop boy group EXO are seen in this photo provided by SM Entertainment.

SEOUL, June 1 (Korea Bizwire)EXO members Baekhyun, Xiumin and Chen have notified their agency, SM Entertainment, that they are terminating their exclusive contracts with the agency, their lawyer said Thursday, a move that is likely to cause a stir in the K-pop scene.

The trio cited the agency’s practice of imposing “unfairly long-term” contracts on artists and opaque handling of earnings as the reasons for their departure.

The agency, however, refuted the allegations, saying the singers renewed their contracts with it in a valid manner at the end of last year and it had always provided access to settlement materials at any time.

“SM not only required its artists to sign long-term contracts lasting 12 to 13 years but also made them renew their contracts upon expiration, effectively prolonging their contractual obligations for a period of 17 to 18 years,” the members said through their lawyer, Lee Jae-hak of the law firm Lin.

“This constitutes a highly unfair abuse of power by SM toward its artists.”

They also noted the 12-13-year period of the initial contracts is longer than the standard seven-year contract recommended by the government and thus goes against the artists.

Under the standard contract, artists have the right to terminate the contract if seven years have passed.

“Most of the other artists managed by SM are facing a similar situation as far as long-term contracts are concerned,” they said, adding that they are seriously considering taking the case to the Fair Trade Commission.

They asserted that the agency has never provided them with papers on how their payment has been calculated during the long contract period and refused to do so even after they requested seven times this year.

While apologizing to their fans for causing concern, the three also vowed to make every effort to find a wise solution and resolve the dispute.

This file photo shows an exterior view of SM Entertainment's headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows an exterior view of SM Entertainment’s headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

SM instantly issued a statement to refute the allegations regarding profit settlements and contract duration.

“We have cooperated by allowing access to the settlement data whenever they want,” the company said.

“We have also provided separate information on expenditure details during each artist’s visit, and there have been no objections raised by the artists regarding the settlement process over the years.”

Regarding their refusal to provide “copies” as requested by the members, the agency explained that it was concerned about the papers’ potential leakage to third parties.

It also claimed there are some “outside forces” enticing the singers to ignore their contracts with their agency and sign a double contract with a new one.

The agency vowed to take all possible legal measures against their “illegal acts.”

EXO originally debuted as a 12-member group in 2012 under SM Entertainment and has since enjoyed Asianwide popularity with such hit songs as “Wolf” and “Growl.”

But it was reduced to be a nine-piece group following the departure of three Chinese members — Luhan, Kris and Tao.

The group’s last remaining Chinese member Lay terminated his contract with SM in April last year.

EXO has been preparing to drop a new album involving all its current members this year. The plan, however, became unclear with the three more members’ alleged termination of their contracts with the agency.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>