According to legal professionals, all seven members of the girl group GWSN (also known as Girls In The Park) have won their cases against the management company, The WAVE MUSIC, as of January 12, 2023.
Korean press Hani reported that, in the first hearing, the Korean Seoul Central District Court ruled against the management. According to the report, The WAVE MUSIC did not respond to the lawsuit and was not present at the trial. Thus, Judge Yoon Do Geun has since made a default judgment. And if not appealed, the decree will become final, and the members will be able to terminate their binding contracts.
GWSN debuted in September 2018 under Kiwi Media Group. Then, when Kiwi Media Group went under in July 2020, the group signed with The WAVE MUSIC. Following the switch, however, GWSN went through a stark decrease in promotions as of late 2021. Then, from 2022 to now, GWSN halted all activities—making fans question the members’ whereabouts. And the lawsuit has revealed some heinous mistreatment that GWSN members have endured since June 2021.
Back in February of 2022, GWSN members were evicted from their dorms because The WAVE MUSIC skipped rent. By July of the same year, The WAVE MUSIC got rid of the dance practice studio—a space essential to an idol group. It was at this time when GWSN’s team of managers and administrative staff all left The WAVE MUSIC as well.
The lawsuit further revealed that The WAVE MUSIC completely neglected two members who are foreign nationals from Japan and Taiwan. Because the management failed to take care of their immigration statuses, Miya and Soso were penalized with not only fines but also criminal records for overstaying their visas.
According to the report, The WAVE MUSIC also failed to provide adequate records of having paid the members with their fair shares of wages.
GWSN is said to have claimed that “[The WAVE MUSIC] has neglected care for [the members] since the last album promotion in June 2021, making it impossible for [them] to continue working in the entertainment business.”
Management of the signed artists is one of the most primary duties of The WAVE MUSIC as outlined by the exclusive contracts. The failure to care for the members—as well as the failure to provide transparent records of finances have damaged the trust between The WAVE MUSIC and the GWSN members. Hence, the contracts can no longer be held valid.
— GWSN Members’ Legal Team
K-Pop fans, who are too well aware of the mistreatment from companies under-qualified to manage the talented idols, are now criticizing The WAVE MUSIC for its irresponsible business operations and rooting for the GWSN members’ futures.
- “Couldn’t go out of business with class. I can’t believe The WAVE MUSIC decided to neglect the members.”
- “Criminal charges? What the f*ck?”
- “Evicted from their dorms because the rent wasn’t paid? And foreign members have criminal records now because of the immigration law penalties? How cruel is this for GWSN?!”
- “I remember this group because I found the Japanese member to be quite attractive. I can’t believe this is happening to them…”
- “Under-qualified management companies should NOT sign foreign nationals. This f*cking pisses me off.”
- “Criminal records because of the immigration laws, huh? That sucks. I used to think GWSN had a lot of potential… I wish the best for the members.”
- “CRIMINAL RECORDS? What the f*ck…”
- “Wh- WHY WOULD YOU JUST LEAVE THEM? The WAVE MUSIC should have gone out of business AFTER taking care of the contracts. I can’t believe the members were still bound to the management, even when it cost them penalties.”
- “WTF… What are the members going to do? What even is this?”
- “HUH?! I still listen to GWSN songs, though. I can’t believe this has been happening to the members. I’m baffled… The WAVE MUSIC was out of their f*cking minds.”