Netizens Confused About Lay’s Status With EXO And SM Entertainment

“Oh I thought he left SM but still an EXO member… I was wrong???”

Even though Lay hasn’t been in an EXO music video since “Monster,” which was released in 2016, there has never been an official announcement that he’s no longer a member of the group. In fact, he has participated in the group’s albums since then — including their most recent one, Don’t Fight the Feeling, in 2021. Even when he announced his departure from SM Entertainment about a year ago, he also promised he’d be available whenever the EXO members needed him.

Lay’s letter about his departure from SM Entertainment in April 2022

For years, EXO fans have held onto the hope that he would someday return to active promotions with the rest of the group’s members, despite his successful solo career in his home country of China and departure from SM Entertainment. However, netizens have now become confused about Lay’s status with both EXO and SM Entertainment due to something discovered on the Korean entertainment label’s website.

Lay | SM Entertainment

Under SM Entertainment’s artist page on their website, every group and individual that works under the label is included, from singers to actors and models, and even athletes. When you click on the link for EXO on this list, it leads to a page that includes all of the members and units within the group. Lay is not on this page, leaving only the other eight members and two sub-units listed.

EXO’s members and sub-units | SM Entertainment

While one might assume he’s not included because he’s no longer under SM Entertainment, it turns out that he is still listed as an individual artist on the artist page outside of EXO.

Lay’s artist profile on the SM Entertainment artist page | SM Entertainment

If you click on his profile, it leads to a page that no longer exists on the website, so it’s possible that he hasn’t been removed from the artist page yet. But this revelation has still left many fans confused and questioning Lay’s status with EXO and SM Entertainment.

The image of his artist profile was shared on an online Korean forum, where netizens shared their clear confusion and different theories in the comments.

| Instiz
  • “I think so? Lay makes so much money, it’s a win for SM too”
  • “Yup, I think so”
  • “He would come up on EXO’s official forum even while promoting as a soloist before, but after last year, he hasn’t, so he’s definitely left… Considering how he still comes up on SM’s official forum, I think he still has ties with SM”
  • “Probably? Lay’s workshop was first something like SM China Label or something. I’m not sure if he’s under main SM, but I think he’s still in SM somehow”
  • “Omg!! I thought his contract with SM expired… I see”
  • “Oh, so you’re saying that his contract did expire, but he transferred to an affiliate label?”
  • “I saw that one of the Boys Planet trainees was in Lay’s agency. Does that mean that agency is a retained label under SM?”
  • “Wow, when did he leave [the group]?”
  • “Wow, but it said in the statement about him leaving the group that he was parting ways with SM”
  • “SM later released a statement saying that they renewed his contract in a different way, and he renewed his contract with the agency”

International fans are also bewildered over the situation, with many hoping for some clarification from SM Entertainment or Lay himself about the situation.

We’ll have to wait and see if either party does speak up about Lay’s status before we know what’s going on!

Source: Instiz and Pann Choa


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