On June 1, 2023, EXO‘s Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin announced they were suing SM Entertainment to terminate their exclusive contracts.
In their statement, the members detailed that they were not given accounting records about their payouts when requested. Similarly, they shared their long contract renewal periods, which “differs from the standard exclusive contract for pop culture artists notified by the Fair Trade Commission…”
Although the unexpected news shocked netizens, many weren’t surprised that SM Entertainment “doesn’t change” how it manages its artists. Especially when you look at issues in the past, like former EXO members filing lawsuits for similar reasons, or TVXQ’s legal dispute with the company.
Now EXO fans have taken to Twitter to trend “Always With EXO” to show their unwavering support for the group.
say it with me, exols.
Always With Xiumin!
Always With Baekhyun!
Always with Chen!
Always with EXO!
— EXO (@exopredict) June 1, 2023
We are one 💗
— Bæk's F𝓞rehead//AlwaysWithEXO (@baek_forehead) June 1, 2023
— 𝐄𝐗𝓞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐃𝐀𝐑𝐃 (@Kyoongs_Luv) June 1, 2023
Fans are making it clear that, although SM Entertainment claims that a group is “spreading misinformation and slanderous rumors” to mislead their artists, they only place their trust in EXO.
I don’t trust SMEnt. I trust EXO and EXO only.
— 에리옐 (@eriyelle_) June 1, 2023
So proud of them. 🥺
I trust EXO and EXO only.
— 1ΞX0 | mhel saw exo-sc ㅠㅠ ♡̷̷ˎ (@Mhellymelgar) June 1, 2023
And will support all the members, no matter what may happen.
IN EXO WE TRUST!!
— 𝐥𝐞𝐱𝐱🦋 (@kyoongsnabii) June 1, 2023
— Teya (@xoxoeijoj22) June 1, 2023
Fans are vocal that they will wait as long as necessary for EXO, preferring that the members prioritize their treatment to the upcoming comeback, which SM Entertainment has reported will still include the “seven members as previously planned.”
EXO-Ls are good at everything, especially when it comes to waiting 😉
We will always wait for #EXO.
— EXO SPOTIFY (@exospotifystats) June 1, 2023
— Bahareh🦋엑소 사랑하자 (@_BAHAR_DELIGHT) June 1, 2023
EXO-Ls are waiting, and you are worth every minute. We don't know how long this will take, but one thing for sure, in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, we'd find you and choose only you, EXO
— BEATI ♡ D-620 (@bmariaerigom) June 1, 2023
Although the news may have surprised fans, EXO-L are ready to support EXO however they can.
we're going to fight with exo, stand with exo, cry with exo, and feel happy with exo
— iya always with exo forever 🍓 (@exosinamorata) June 1, 2023
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