EXO-CBX (Baekhyun, Xiumin, and Chen) requested that all SM Entertainment artists’ contracts be examined in a new statement.
On June 5, the artists’ lawyer, Lee Jae Hak, revealed that he had made an official complaint to Korea’s Free Trade Commission about SM Entertainment’s practices. The Free Trade Commission is the governing body in Korea that protects free markets and competition in the markets within the country.
On June 4, we made an official complaint to the Free Trade Commission about SM Entertainment’s abusive business practices. We reported to the Free Trade Commission that despite the commission already issuing corrective orders on October 2007 and January 2011, SM Entertainment had ignored those orders and largely continued its practice of unfair contracts.
— Lee Jae Hak
The lawyer then made a bombshell revelation that he had officially requested an inquiry into all artists’ contracts signed with the label.
We requested that the commission levy strict corrective orders to SM and, furthermore, that a full investigation be made into all of SM artists’ contracts. In 2023, SM is continuing the actions that the commission had deemed as business malpractice in 2007 and 2011.
— Lee Jae Hak
Lee Jae Hak then stated that SM’s practices, such as making the contract’s start date the group’s debut date and making its contracts much less favorable for its artists compared to industry norms, had all been deemed as unfair by the Fair Trade Commission.
The lawyer also challenged that the length of the contracts was unfairly extended through unfavorable contract terms.
By making the group’s debut date the start date for the contract, the time artists spent as trainees were added to the length of the contract, and through agreements, the contract was then extended for three years, and if you consider the time spent in the military, the contracts are 12-13 years long in practice. .
— Lee Jae Hak
The lawyer then further alleged that, as if that wasn’t enough, the label pushed its artists to sign another extension in the last year of their contract, and thus in practice, artists sign with the label for 17-18 years. Lee Jae Hak ends his statement by releasing a statement from the artists themselves.
We hope that our courage and efforts will ensure the rights of our hoobaes are protected and that we make a small contribution to a healthy change in the Pop industry.
Previously, the members of EXO-CBX revealed that they had sued to terminate their contract with SM Entertainment. The label would then accuse Big Planet Made of tampering with its artists, which would be denied by the other label. The members, despite revealing their intention to leave the label, have since stated that they plan on remaining in EXO in a following statement.
Stay tuned for updates.