Amid the flurry of K-Pop news, one report has left the entire community in shock and sparked intense reactions, especially among Red Velvet‘s fervent fans. According to a recent article by Star News Korea, Red Velvet’s Irene is reportedly not renewing her contract with SM Entertainment. What followed was an overwhelming storm of reactions, speculations, and heated debates.
Star News Korea’s report suggests that the halt in Red Velvet‘s group activities since their June 2023 R to V concert in London might be due to the uncertainty surrounding Irene’s contract renewal. This speculation has grown since the group hasn’t released any new tracks since December 2022, despite assuring fans of a third full album in an August live broadcast.
Meanwhile, SM Entertainment has remained silent on the contract status not only of Irene but also of Wendy, Joy, and Yeri.
The silence from the management company, coupled with the recent report, has drawn the ire of Red Velvet fans, who accuse SM Entertainment of using the media to put undue pressure on Irene to sign a new contract. A major contention point is the media insinuating blame on Irene’s contract situation for the group’s lack of activities, a move many see as a tactic to strong-arm her into an agreement.
before this blows up further, i hope everyone realise how damaging this article is as it puts her at a vulnerable position of getting blamed for stopping group album and promotions if she doesn’t renew. irene herself have said we’ll meet soon so please trust her and her only https://t.co/fJXaCrDZKl
— rbb (@_renedys) September 13, 2023
no because this is what sm does!!! this media play by sm needs to be stopped like guilt tripping her and making it sound like we won't see rv anymore if irene leaves and all that for what? as if we haven't seen other artists be a part of the group even if they leave sm https://t.co/cX3oDmPl21
— swetha (@wenshyun) September 13, 2023
Moreover, fans are frustrated with the insinuation that if contract talks don’t succeed, the planned promotions and the eagerly awaited third album might be shelved. This, they argue, not only pressurizes Irene but also taints her image as the potential reason behind the group’s discontinuation.
rv3 has been in talks for months now. confirmed by the girls themselves. so what exactly are they trying to do by spreading rumours that will harm irene’s image ?
— almond pepero (@renebaebae001) September 13, 2023
It's very clear that the evil company is trying to scare her with this smear campaign, trying to guilt trip her for the activities related to the group and make her the villain in fan's and public eyes as who broke the group apart… Fcking https://t.co/3dN2SMfdZy
— RV3||KACHING||BORN PINK🌹 (@elna_034) September 13, 2023
The saga has reminiscent undertones of a previous incident involving SM Entertainment and EXO members Baekhyun, Chen, and Xiumin — and fans haven’t shied away from mentioning it. The trio had released a statement revealing the agency’s attempts at using the other group members to exert pressure for contract renewals. ReVeluvs were quick to draw parallels, citing this as evidence of the company’s recurring manipulative tactics.
i trust irene more than SM any day, so i will only believe her side.
forcing renewals and smear PR campaigns is their specialty, just remember what they did to exo https://t.co/wKbVAlBVJ3
— ☾ (@pinkchromatica) September 13, 2023
The same sentence they used in exo’s article last time…. See the pattern????
— #28REASONS 🇭🇰 (@SEULGADADDY) September 13, 2023
With fans rallying behind Irene and the other Red Velvet members, the situation underlines the broader concerns over the tactics employed by some entertainment agencies in South Korea. The contentious history between SM and their artists has been a point of debate over the years.
SM is actually so predictable, they definitely try the whole “group will disband/flop if you don’t renew” with every popular member looool https://t.co/GnnEVtmFqH
— ًً (@ashfixation) September 13, 2023
As the story unfolds, fans worldwide are hoping for a resolution that prioritizes the well-being and desires of the members. In the midst of these concerns, it’s essential to remember the tremendous pressure and responsibility artists like Irene carry on their shoulders. As for now, all eyes are on SM Entertainment, waiting for an official statement to clarify the situation.